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January 26, 2023
The European Parliament have lashed out at Hungary and stated that Hungary is no longer a “full democracy” and the EU will do whatever necessary to bring Hungary back in line with European values.
The EU criticized “the deliberate and systematic efforts of the Hungarian government to undermine European values.”
Members of the European Parliament voted in favor of a document that refuses to recognize Hungary as a democracy. This document was supported by 433 votes, whereas 123 MEPs voted against the declaration. 28 members of parliament chose to abstain from voting, The Guardian reports.
Parliament’s statement said that the lack of decisive action by the EU contributed to the emergence of a “hybrid regime of electoral autocracy” in Hungary. MEPs acknowledge that elections are taking place in Hungary, but there is no respect for democratic norms and standards.
This motion would allow the EU to reduce funding to Hungary if deemed necessary. An insider source said that funding to Hungary could be cut up to 70%, however there remains room for compromise.
“More or less what we hear is that the commission will propose … these sanctions or financial measures,” said Moritz Körner, a German MEP.
“The conclusions of this report are clear and irrevocable: Hungary is not a democracy. It was more important than ever for Parliament to take this position, given the alarming pace of backsliding on the rule of law in Hungary,” Parliamentary Rapporteur Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield said of the situation in Hungary.
Hungary has been given until November to bring itself and election in line with European values. Hungary’s government is expected to propose new legislation to attempt to clean up elections and combat corruption.
“The commission has made a half-hearted deal with the Hungarian government on the kind of change they want to see,” said Daniel Freund, a German Green MEP, also briefed on the commission’s plans. “There is a very short timeframe and … to expect that the damage that Orbán has done with [his] constitutional majority over 12 years, can now be repaired in a matter of weeks, or a couple of months, I think is optimistic to put it mildly.”
The move will not affect significant legislation such as sanctions on Russia as this would require agreement from all 27 member states.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: POLITICO