Monday, May 6, 2013
The European Union should be given new powers to intervene in the affairs of member states to tackle anti-Semitism and other human rights abuses, Germany’s foreign minister has said
Guido Westerwelle told a congress of Jewish leaders in Budapest that the EU needed better legal resources at a time of growing concerns over the rise of anti-Semitism in Hungary, and warnings that the country risks drifting away from "democratic" principles. Referring to the EU’s current powers to impose constitutional requirements on its member states as a “toothpick”, Westerwelle repeated his call for the European Commission to be given a new human rights watchdog role independent of national vetoes. “Between the toothpick and the big bazooka, there is not an instrument we can [use] if developments of concern start in a government or in a country,” he told the meeting of the World Jewish Congress, being held in Budapest to highlight rising anti-Semitism and racism in Hungary. Four EU countries — Germany, Denmark, Finland and the Netherlands — have given the commission new powers to impose sanctions against countries, because the current European treaties allow penalties only if a country systematically abuses “fundamental rights”. Westerwelle has added Germany’s voice to mounting concerns over extreme nationalism in Hungary and EU criticism that Viktor Orban’s government is eroding the checks and balances common to European democracies. Westerwelle joined Jewish leaders to urge Orban to do more to stem anti-Semitism by taking a “zero tolerance” approach to Jobbik, an extreme Right-wing nationalist party that is Hungary’s third largest political force. To the Jews, "democracy" means doing whatever the Jews tell you to do even if the native gentile population is against it. In other words, when Hungarians in Hungary vote for Jobbik they are being "anti-democratic" because Jobbik does not promote the Jewish agenda.