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European Parliament will vote to deprive Hungary of its voting rights in EU

Tuesday, 16 January 2024, 19:50
European Parliament will vote to deprive Hungary of its voting rights in EU
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. Photo: Getty Images

In the European Parliament, the majority of political groups have agreed on a resolution calling for Hungary's voting rights in the EU Council to be suspended and for an investigation into the European Commission's unfreezing of €10 billion for Budapest last month.

Source: European Pravda with reference to Euractiv

Details: With the agreement of members of the European Parliament (MEPs) majority - the Socialists, the Greens, centre-right European People's Party, liberal Renew and the Left - the Parliament will vote on a resolution on Hungary on Thursday, 18 January.

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Its two key points are a call on the EU Council to start the process of withdrawing Hungary's voting rights under Article 7.2 of the EU Treaty and a call to launch a parliamentary investigation into the legality of the European Commission's decision to unfreeze €10 billion in funds for Hungary in December 2023, up to and including a lawsuit in the EU Court of Justice.

"We are also sending a strong signal to the Commission: If they simply distribute billions of euros in order to evade Hungary’s vetoes, they will not get away with it," Green MEP Daniel Freund, one of the resolution’s leading negotiators, told Euractiv. 

Most EU lawmakers said the Commission's decision to allocate the funds was not based on objective improvements in Hungary's judicial system and rule of law, as the EU executive claims.

It was believed that this was a concession to Budapest by Brussels before the EU summit, which made the historic decision to start accession talks with Ukraine and Moldova.

According to Euractiv, the final draft resolution may also contain a provision for a vote of no confidence in Ursula von der Leyen, European Commission President, if the EU executive body unfreezes further funds for Hungary.

Reminder: Last week, Petri Sarvamaa, a Finnish Member of the European Parliament,  proposed to apply the procedure under Article 7(2) of the EU Treaty against Hungary. It provides for the possibility of suspending certain rights, including voting rights in the EU Council, for a state that has repeatedly violated the values of the European Union.

However, Robert Fico, Slovak Prime Minister, has promised to veto any decisions aimed at restricting Hungary's rights in the European Union.

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