European Parliament: Because of Orban, Hungary is No Longer a Democratic Country
Today, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on Hungary, according to which the country can no longer be perceived as a full democracy. The EP condemns the "targeted and persistent efforts of the Hungarian government" to undermine European values and demands results in the process under Article 7 of the EU Treaty.
The report on the resolution was adopted with 433 votes in favor, 123 against and 28 abstentions. Article 7 of the EU Treaty is a mechanism to control the risk of violation of European values in any member country. The EP triggered the Article 7 procedure against Hungary back in 2018.
MEPs today noted the lack of decisive action by the EU regarding Hungary and that this has contributed to the emergence of a "hybrid regime of electoral autocracy", i.e. a constitutional system where elections are called but democratic norms are not respected and standards.
The newly adopted European Parliament resolution states that respect for European values enshrined in the EU Treaty, including democracy and fundamental rights in the country, have further deteriorated since 2018, with the situation exacerbated by EU inaction.
MEPs emphasize that the EU Treaty does not require unanimity between EU states to establish an obvious threat of a serious breach of European values, nor to make specific recommendations and deadlines. They state that any further delay in acting under the rules of Article 7 of the EU Treaty to protect EU values in Hungary would be tantamount to a violation of the rule of law by the Council of the EU itself.
The MEPs call on the EC to make full use of all the possibilities at its disposal, especially the rules for binding with conditions for compliance with the principles of the rule of law when providing the EU budget.
While EU values are particularly threatened by Russia's war on Ukraine and its actions against the EU, the EP calls on the EC not to approve Hungary's Recovery and Resilience Plan until the country fully implements all recommendations under the European Semester and all relevant Court of Justice rulings the EU and the European Court of Human Rights; exclude from funding cohesion programs that contribute to misuse of EU funds or violations of the rule of law; and enforce the rules more strictly to tackle any misuse of EU funds for political reasons.
The EP expresses concern about the functioning of the constitutional and electoral system, the independence of the judiciary, corruption and conflicts of interest and freedom of expression, including media pluralism in the country.
MEPs are also concerned about academic freedom, freedom of religion, freedom of association, the right to equal treatment, including LGBTI rights, the rights of minorities and migrants, asylum seekers and refugees in Hungary.
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