“No one is forcing Hungary to be part of the European Union,” said the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, on Tuesday, October 25. Thus, the EU’s top diplomat responded to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s words that The European Union is a “bad modern parody” of the USSR.

“Honestly, I don’t see any similarity between the Soviet occupation of Budapest and what’s happening in Berlaymont. I didn’t see a single tank there. Nobody is forcing Hungary to be a member of the EU,” Borrell said at the “Europe and the World conference” in Brussels.

At the same time, former Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius hinted that under Viktor Orban, modern Hungary should no longer be a member of the European Union.

“Under the EU treaties, there is no clear mechanism for expelling a member state. There is no way to remove a state sponsoring terrorism from the UN Security Council. Those who wish to lead should probably address the issue,” Linkevičius said.

Article 7 of the Treaty on European Union provides for a procedure to temporarily suspend certain rights of a member state if it persistently violates the founding values of the EU, but there is no provision for the permanent exclusion of a member state. A similar idea was discussed in the drafting of the unimplemented European Constitution and the Treaty of Lisbon, but did not find a place in the final text of the 2009 revision adopted in December 2007 (the treaty itself entered into force two years later) for several reasons, which make such a provision impractical.

During a speech on the anniversary of the anti-Soviet revolution in Hungary in 1956, the Hungarian prime minister compared Hungary’s membership of the European Union to the Soviet occupation.

“Things are popping up today that remind us of Soviet times. Yes, history does happen to repeat itself. Fortunately, what was once a tragedy is now a comedy at best. Fortunately, Brussels is not Moscow. Moscow was a tragedy. Brussels is just a bad modern parody,” Orban said.

The European Union is using methods against the country that are reminiscent of the times of Soviet power, the prime minister continued. “The comrades’ lectures remain unchanged, only now it is called the conditional procedure. The party’s rebuke to Hungary is now called the Brussels procedure for the rule of law,” Orban said.

Also yesterday, October 25, the World Justice Project (a project to measure and evaluate the level of justice around the world) published its report for 2023. The report of the Washington-based international non-governmental organization comes out annually and ranks eight factors measured by a set of indicators, 142 countries according to the degree of application of the rule of law and the stability of their judicial systems.

Hungary occupies the last, 31st place in a regional ranking that includes countries from the EU, the European Free Trade Association and North America. In front of Hungary are Greece (29) and Bulgaria (30).

Instead of commenting on Borrell’s speech on October 25, the Hungarian prime minister posted a photo of himself on his X profile bragging about the gift he received from the former US president. Donald Trump is the candidate for the Republican Party nomination for the 2024 election, but he is also embroiled in a series of lawsuits over his attempts to influence the results of the 2020 US election.