Ms Varga is reportedly set to run in the European Parliament election next year as Fidesz party’s lead candidate CREDIT: JOHN THYS/AFP
Viktor Orban’s right-hand woman hailed Suella Braverman’s “brave” plan to send migrants to Rwanda as she took aim at the EU’s “ideology-driven migration policy”.
Judit Varga said she “commended” the policy, which is currently the subject of a battle with the Supreme Court, and that it is important to “think outside of the box”.
“A politician should be brave enough to have a true belief that what you are doing is good for the nation,” she told The Telegraph.
Like Ms Braverman, Ms Varga is a trained lawyer, and both are well-known personalities in Brussels for their criticism of EU institutions.
Ms Varga has risen quickly within Mr Orban’s ranks in recent years. She is set to run in the European Parliament election next year as Fidesz party’s lead candidate after resigning as the country’s justice minister.
Ms Varga has enthusiastically involved herself in Hungary’s battle against the European Union, defending policies that have targeted migrants and upholding a “family first” model of society.
She rallied against the Court of Justice of the European Union after it ruled that Budapest broke EU laws designed to protect refugees by deporting them to the Serbian border.
She told the Telegraph: “We have to regain our sovereignty, we have to be strong in our beliefs.
“At the end of the day, it is the strong nations who make up this European Union, it’s not the European institutions.”
At odds over migration
Budapest has introduced a slew of migration laws in recent years that are considered deeply controversial in Brussels, including one that bans people and organisations from helping migrants apply for asylum. Prime Minister Orban, who in 2018 described migrants as “Muslim invaders”, has always been unapologetic about these policies.
The difference between asylum and migration must be carefully considered, Ms Varga said.
“I think it’s a good direction to realise that you cannot tackle every challenge of migration ... Asylum is a human right, but migration is not a human right.
“The open-border strategy, the ideology-driven migration policy, causes chaos for our societies.”
In 2015, fed up with what Budapest claimed was the EU’s inaction against migration to the continent from the Middle East and Africa, Mr Orban announced the construction of a 4-metre-high fence to block off 320km of its border.
Budapest said it was not just a barrier for Hungary’s protection, but for the rest of the EU, although many objected to it on humanitarian and environmental grounds.
“It cost €1.7 billion and only one per cent reimbursed by the EU. It’s not right. We are protecting the whole of Schengen... We were slapped in the face,” Ms Varga said.
“In Hungary, when it comes to migration, we also have a very firm stance, in line with society’s answer to ‘Do you agree to live with those masses of foreign and culturally foreign people?’ The answer is no, I have a right to say no to illegal migration.”
Similarly to Ms Braverman, Ms Varga has also spoken out against what she deems “woke culture”, likening it to Hungary’s communist rule, which ended in 1989.
“We lived under communism, we know what Newspeak is,” she said. “Then we finally got rid of the chains of Communism, and we entered the free world ... we were quite disappointed because we saw that there’s another Newspeak, which is political correctness.
She added: “The fundament of today’s exaggerated wokeism is the falling apart of the texture of society, which is the family, and the model of the family.”
These issues will be at the core of the 2024 EU elections, Ms Varga believes, casting the vote as a war between the politically correct elite and those who are not afraid to stand up for “common sense”. Without Britain, Ms Varga said the EU now faces a German-Franco axis that wants to erode the individual identities of the member nations.
“I always loved the big counterbalance of the UK by being a member of the European Union,” she said. “For central Europeans, you were the role model of how to behave.”
Poland also poses a challenge to Hungary’s genre of right-wing ideology in the EU, after the Law and Justice Party was voted out in favour of Civic Platform, led by Donald Tusk, the former president of the European Council.
“The Polish election is a big warning,” said Ms Varga. “The objective of the liberal progressives is ‘let’s have everyone have the same opinion’.”
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