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The issue of rule of law was at the centre of discussions on the historic agreement on the EU budget 2021-2027, (Multiannual Financial Framework), in December 2020. As part of the IIEA’s Global Europe project, supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Minister Varga and Minister Byrne discuss the state of the rule of law in the EU, a topic which encompasses judicial independence, freedom of the press, LGBTQI+ and minority protections, corruption, democratic values and human rights. Effective rule of law not only supports the political, economic and legal coherence of the EU, but also underpins the projection of the EU as a global actor. This discussion offers insights into different perspectives on the rule of law debate from across the EU.

As part of the IIEA’s Global Europe project, this webinar was supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs.

About the Speakers:  

Judit Varga was appointed Minister of Justice of Hungary in 2019 and previously Minister of State for EU Relations in the office of the Prime Minister. Before this, she was a political advisor at the European Parliament with the Fidesz party within the European People’s Party. She studied law at the University of Miskolc and was admitted to the Hungarian Bar in 2009.

Thomas Byrne TD, representing Meath East, has served as Minister of State for European Affairs since 2020 and was the Fianna Fáil Party Spokesperson on Education from 2016-2020. He was previously the Party Spokesperson on Public Expenditure and Reform in the Seanad. He holds an LL.B. from Trinity College Dublin and is a qualified solicitor.