Vice President, President, Prime minister,
As Members of the European Union we have signed up to a core set of democratic principles and rights.
The Members of this house are entitled to all of its varied and many opinions, political and ideological beliefs.
This house is a platform for examination, debate, and we always hope . . . .for solutions.
But when did this parliament become judge, jury and executioner for those who hold a point of view different to theirs.
You can dress this debate up as being about protecting the fundamental rights of the Union, you can claim it is about helping internal monitoring of the application of the treaties and EU law.
But the request for this debate, is what it is. . . . The left of this Parliament taking another swipe at the centre right, because some Member States dare to talk about issues which concern their electorate.
Member States have a right to debate issues, even issues not included on the list of pre-approved topics of certain people in this room.
Why does this Parliament always have to present its arguments as a stand-off between the European Parliament and one of its Member States. This tarnishes the reputation of the Member States in this parliament, and of this Parliament in that Member State.
Here in the European Union we are meant to be each other's partner, and not each other's keeper.
The people of Hungary and the people of Europe don't want to see important issues related to fundamental rights and rule of law reduced to another opportunity for political point-scoring.
Conversations have been had between the Hungarian Government, a debate has been held in the Justice and Home Affairs Committee.
So I ask myself, why are we here today?