VIDEO: The European Parliament - Where Character Doesn’t Matter

I'm sure ye’ve heard of Viktor Orban, the Prime Minister of Hungary, a man who makes Donald Trump seem like the very voice of reason. In case you haven’t, and for a little flavour, here is a recent utterance on immigration (after Hungary, with a population of 10m, was asked to accept 1,600 migrants): “Every single migrant poses a public security and terror risk… For us migration is not a solution but a problem, not medicine but a poison; we don’t need it and won’t swallow it”.

Viktor also wants to bring back the death penalty; he supports nuclear energy even as other nations are divesting, with neighbours Germany having closed eight reactors in the last six years; on media independence, he had no problem using public money to finance what was meant to be an independent news website, leading to the resignation of ten leading journalists who refused to be compromised (sure our own media leading lights would do the same here if they felt their independence being undermined, wouldn’t they???).

His latest foray is into the world of third education in Hungary, an attempt to close down the internationally acclaimed Central European University, basically because it’s funded by his fellow-countryman but arch-enemy George Soros. Admittedly Soros is no angel, his billions soaked in the sweat and blood of people right around the globe, but Orban’s methods are no better.

FINE GAEL BEDFELLOWS

Right alongside our own Fine Gael and its four MEPs (Deirdre Clune, Sean Kelly, Mairéad McGuinness and Brian Hayes), Viktor’s political party, Fidesz, is a member of the EPP group in the European Parliament. They have 12 MEPs, among whom is Ildikó Gáll-Pelcz, a European Parliament Vice-President.

Recently Ildikó was nominated for a position in the European Court of Auditors (ECA) and this week, as part of our regular duty, we on the Budgetary Control Committee (CONT) got to vote on that nomination.

Under normal circumstances I would simply have rubber-stamped the nomination. In the first instance Ildikó Gáll-Pelcz is female and that gender is grossly underrepresented in the ECA; secondly, and with enough degrees/Masters/Doctorates in both Mechanical Engineering and Economics to paper this building, Ildikó is more than qualified for that very lucrative but very responsible position.

THE VALUE OF VALUES

In an Auditor, however, that’s not enough. Having to certify that all the income and spending that he/she examines is both ethical and legal, above all else auditing is about character.

With that in mind, I questioned Mrs Gáll-Pelcz on her association with Mr Orban, asked if she’d care to distance herself from his comments and stated extreme positions. She didn’t.

The meeting was chaired by another EEP group member, German MEP Ingeborg Grässle, which in my opinion is akin to having an English ref for a crucial Ireland/England game - Ingeborg ‘refereed’ our little joust accordingly.

Despite all the evasion Ildikó Gáll-Pelcz wasn’t just elected, she skated home, a landslide, which leads me to wonder - when an unapologetic supporter of a racist extremist like Viktor Orban can be elected almost by acclamation to such a senior position in one of the EU’s most critical institutions, what are the REAL values of this place? Where are the ‘Socialists & Democrats’ in this, where are the liberal ALDE group?

I didn’t vote for Ildikó Gáll-Pelcz; I wouldn’t vote now to join this rotten Union.

Videos, EuropePaul Cotter