Hungary has announced that addressing demographic challenges will be a priority during its presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second half of 2024. Justice Minister Judit Varga stated that Hungary believes the solution to demographic issues lies in family policy rather than migration. She suggested that the EU treaties should cover family policy and that the bloc should allocate funding to the issue.
Varga also pinpointed enlargement policy as a key focus of the Hungarian presidency, saying that Serbia must be integrated with the European community. Additionally, Hungary will give increased attention to cohesion policy, stating that by addressing imbalances among member states’ economies, the policy makes the entire bloc more successful.
During her time in Strasbourg, Varga addressed the situation of ethnic Hungarians in western Ukraine’s Transcarpathia region with the Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejcinovic Buric. Varga supports Ukraine’s EU integration but believes it is essential that they respect the rights of national minorities, such as ethnic Hungarians in Transcarpathia.
Lastly, Varga met with the President of the European Court of Human Rights, Siofra O’Leary, and stated that the Strasburg court had recently acknowledged that Hungary’s legal remedy system designed to address the length of civil proceedings was adequate for establishing an effective domestic remedy.
Regarding the conditions set by the European Commission for unlocking EU funding for Hungary, Varga remarked that some civil groups felt uncomfortable about the fact that Hungary was fulfilling its commitments and doing its homework. She added that the country’s measures were working, and newly-established institutions were exemplary in ensuring transparency and combatting corruption.