The EU at Soros’s service

Alvaro Peñas

It has barely been three months since Hungary and Poland reached an agreement to unlock the EU budgets. Under the agreement, both countries challenged the state of law conditionality mechanism, which threatens to deny them European funds, before the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). The “bad guys in the EU” gained time. The CJEU’s rulings usually take a year or two, but already then, the Vice President of the European Commission and Commissioner for Values and Transparency, Vera Jourova, admitted that “we are talking about months rather than years”.

On 2 February, Jourova was interviewed by the German leftist newspaper Handelsblatt. In the interview, the Commissioner insisted that the sentence could be a matter of a few months and emphasized the importance of the rule of law mechanism, a “fair, new and very effective mechanism, to prevent corrupt systems from wasting money and to allow financial sanctions to be imposed on individual member states for violating fundamental democratic rights”. The new regulation entered into force on 1 January and Jourova noted that the Commission is already working to ensure that, from the moment the sentence is published, the sanctions are applied retroactively. This statement, which takes the CJEU’s decision fore, says very little of the judicial independence of the European Union.

During the November negotiations, European politicians insisted that the rule of law mechanism was not directed against anyone. However, Jourova admitted that Hungary and Poland are at the heart of their attention because “there are infringement proceedings under Article 7 of the EU Treaty against Poland and Hungary”. These procedures could lead to the withdrawal of European funds or, at worst, the loss of the right to vote in the EU institutions. Jourova defended these procedures because the EU needs free media and independent justice, and to protect fundamental democratic rights. In her view, the imposition of economic sanctions would be sufficient for Hungary and Poland to abandon their challenge. The European Commissioner seems to share the position of Katarina Barley, German social democrat and Vice President of the European Parliament, who declared last October that “the rule of law is constantly broken and European funds are an effective means of exerting pressure. States like Hungary and Poland must go hungry financially”.

What fundamental democratic rights does the Commissioner refer to? If we follow what she said in 2017, those rights are represented by the values of open society. In a photo posted on her Twitter account, Jourova posed between George Soros and Alexander Soros. The following text accompanied the photograph: “Discussed the situation of fundamental rights in Europe with George Soros. The values of open society are at the heart of EU action”.

Vera Jourova is a Czech politician who began her meteoric career in 2003 in the ranks of the Czech Social Democratic Party, where she served as deputy Minister of Regional Development. In 2006, she left her party and was accused of corruption, but, two years later, the charges were dropped, and she received compensation of about 140,000 euros. In 2009, she returned to the active policy of the European Democratic Party as a candidate in the 2009 European elections and in the 2010 national election, not getting the act of deputy in any of them. The following year, she left the party and joined the newly created ANO 2011, a liberal party whose founder, Andrej Babiš, is currently the Czech prime minister. In 2013, she became a member of the Czech parliament again and, on 29 January 2014, she was appointed the Minister of Regional Development. In September, Jourova entered the Berlaymont as European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, joining ALDE, Guy Verhofstadt’s liberal and federalist group. On 26 August 2019, the Czech government confirmed Jourova as a European Commissioner for the period 2019-2024 and, in September, Ursula von der Leyen announced her appointment as the Vice President of the European Commission and Commissioner of Values and Transparency. That same year, TIME magazine included Jourova in the list of the 100 most influential personalities of 2019.

Her connection to Soros does not come down to a tweet and is well known. In January 2020, the Hungarian media  Origo  published that, during her time as Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Jourova and her cabinet members held 18 official meetings with George Soros and representatives of the Open Society Foundations. Jourova personally attended 11 of those meetings. For example, Monika Ladmanova, a member of Jourova’s cabinet, hosted Amnesty International Europe, funded by Soros, in April 2016 to discuss immigration. Prior to work as Jourova’s advisor, Ladmanova worked for the Soros Foundation in Prague for 11 years.

Given this background, the Commissioner’s blindness with Poland and, above all, Hungary, is not surprising, not only on the question of the rule of law, but practically on every decision taken by both governments. In 2017, Jourova spoke out in defence of the Central European University of George Soros, which would eventually leave Budapest to move to Vienna, and noted for the first time the possibility of changing the rules to leave countries that did not respect judicial independence uninsured. In 2018, the Commissioner pointed again Hungary for “stigmatizing and silencing civil society”, an euphemism to refer to the several foundations and NGOs of the Soros network. The coronavirus crisis was also used by the Commissioner to attack both countries, “the coronavirus must be eliminated, but democracy must survive”. Jourova was very concerned that Poland decided to hold elections, as did France, and because the Hungarian government ruled by decree, like Spanish president Pedro Sanchez, but the latter has the blessing of Soros. On 29 September 2020, Orbán demanded Jourova’s resignation for her statements in the German newspaper Der Spiegel in which she called Hungary a “sick democracy”. As expected, the European Commission expressed its support for the Commissioner.

These statements by Vera Jourova and Frontex’s withdrawal from Hungary are unequivocal signs that the Brussels truce with Hungary and Poland will be much shorter than expected. The elite of Brussels, given to globalism and Soros’s money, will soon trigger a new wave of sanctions and threats against both countries, and against anyone else who intends to retain national sovereignty and does not submit to the values of the “open society”. The EU is going to become the scene of multiple conflicts that could end the European project.

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