Rule of law in Hungary: Parliament calls on the EU to act

Orban 2018

Mr Viktor ORBAN, Hungarian Prime Minister. Copyright: European Union Event: European Council – June 2018 (Day 2)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament.

Parliament has asked EU member states to determine, in accordance with Treaty Article 7, whether Hungary is at risk of breaching the EU´s founding values.

The request was approved by 448 votes to 197, with 48 abstentions. To be adopted, the proposal required an absolute majority of members (376) and two thirds of the votes cast – excluding the abstentions.

This is the first time that Parliament has called on the Council of the EU to act against a member state to prevent a systemic threat to the Union’s founding values. These values, which are enshrined in EU Treaty Article 2 and reflected in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, include respect for democracy, equality, the rule of law and human rights.

MEPs called on EU countries to initiate the procedure laid down in Article 7(1) the EU Treaty, noting that despite the Hungarian authorities’ readiness to discuss the legality of any specific measure, they have not addressed the situation, “and many concerns remain”. They stress that this is the preventive phase of the procedure, providing for a dialogue with the country concerned, and that it is “intended to avoid possible sanctions”.

Parliament recalls that Hungary’s accession to the EU “was a voluntary act based on a sovereign decision, with a broad consensus across the political spectrum” and underline that any Hungarian government has a duty to eliminate the risk of a serious breach of the EU’s values.

Parliament’s key concerns relate to:

  • the functioning of the constitutional and electoral system,
  • the independence of the judiciary,
  • corruption and conflicts of interest,
  • privacy and data protection,
  • freedom of expression,
  • academic freedom,
  • freedom of religion,
  • freedom of association,
  • the right to equal treatment,
  • the rights of persons belonging to minorities, including Roma and Jews,
  • the fundamental rights of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees, and
  • economic and social rights.

Quote

Judith Sargentini (Greens/EFA, NL), who authored the report, said: “In the week that we debate the state of the Union, the European Parliament sends out an important message: We stand up for the rights of all Europeans, including Hungarian citizens and we defend our European values. Now it is up to the European leaders to take their responsibility and stop watching from the sidelines as the rule of law is destroyed in Hungary. This is unacceptable for a Union that is built on democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights.”

Next steps

The proposal for a Council decision will now be sent to the EU member states. They may, acting by a majority of four fifths, determine the existence of a clear risk of a serious breach of the EU values in Hungary. The Council would first have to hear the views of the Hungarian authorities, and Parliament would need to give consent. The EU member states may also choose to address recommendations to Hungary to counter the risk.

At a later stage, the European Council may determine, by unanimity and with the Parliament’s consent, the existence in Hungary of a serious and persistent breach of the rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights. This could eventually lead to sanctions, such as the suspension of the voting rights in the Council.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

‘No other possibility but to leave’: UN News special report from the Nigeria-Cameroon border as 35,000 newly-displaced seek safety

Despite setbacks, ‘political will’ to end Yemen war stronger than ever: top UN envoy

Why the ECB suddenly decided to flood banks with money?

President Juncker temporarily transfers portfolio responsibilities following departure of two Members of the European Commission

Obama, Crimea and the TTIP pill

How to talk about climate change: 5 tips from the front lines

VW emissions scandal: EU unable to protect its consumers against large multinationals

What data dominance really means, and how countries can compete

Tackling youth unemployment through the eyes of a European entrepreneur

What does the world really think about the UN Sustainable Development Goals?

COP21 Breaking News: China has promised to cut emissions from its coal power plants by 60% by 2020

Threats from mammoth banks and Brussels fuel May’s poll rates

Antitrust: Commission fines Google €4.34 billion for illegal practices regarding Android mobile devices to strengthen dominance of Google’s search engine

The EU resumes budget support assistance to the Republic of Moldova

Climate change and health: an everyday solution

Commission goes less than mid-way on expensive euro

Russia can no longer be considered a ‘strategic partner’, say MEPs

Nicaragua must end ‘witch-hunt’ against dissenting voices – UN human rights experts

Draghi joined Macron in telling Germany how Eurozone must be reformed

Australia’s record heatwave: From fainting tennis players to dead fish

UNICEF urges governments to repatriate thousands of foreign children stranded in northeast Syria

ISIS fighters fleeing Mosul for Syria can topple Assad. Why did the US now decide to uproot them from Iraq?

To hope or doubt? The state of women’s progress in the world

Brexit: PM May must hush Boris Johnson to unlock the negotiations

Why India is ready to become a supercomputer power

To build a circular economy, we need to put recycling in the bin

Africa’s Sahel: Act now before the crisis ‘becomes unmanageable’, urges Grandi

Onagawa’s spirit of togetherness: lessons from the 2011 tsunami

UN ‘regrets’ new US position on legality of Israeli settlements

Can collective action cure what’s ailing our food systems?

Tax revenues continue increasing as the tax mix shifts further towards corporate and consumption taxes

UN condemns deadly attack against G5 Sahel force headquarters in Mali

Efforts to save the planet must start with the Antarctic

Climate change: Will COP23 be able to accelerate the implementation of the Paris agreement?

UN launches innovative programme to detect and disrupt terrorist travel

Resettlement: EU Member States’ pledges exceed 30,000 places for 2020

New UN bullying report calls for ‘safe, inclusive’ schools for all children

Fair completion rules and the law of gravity don’t apply to banks

FROM THE FIELD: Heeding the call for women’s rights around the planet

Under fire, UN refugee agency evacuates 135 detained in Libya to Niger

A Valentine’s Special: giving back, a dialogue of love

EU crisis aggravates structural differences, threatens cohesion

Libya: UN mobilized to support thousands uprooted by Tripoli clashes, renews call for humanitarian truce

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is changing how we grow, buy and choose what we eat

Facts and prejudices about work

Republic of Korea President proposes DMZ as future ‘peace and cooperation district’ on Peninsula

You can live up to 10 years longer by doing these 5 things

‘Hateful attacks’ pushing Sri Lanka backwards, UN advisers warn, urging an end to ‘discriminatory practices’ that feed intolerance

Further reforms in Japan needed to meet the challenges of population ageing and high public debt

The EU threatens to impose extra import duties on Chinese products

Migration and rule of law on next ACP-EU Parliamentary Assembly agenda

Sexual education in a school at the Brazilian Amazon

The Future of Retail: Changing shopping patterns will mean retailers need to invest in costly and complex solutions

Make progress or risk redundancy, UN chief warns world disarmament body

High-tech or ‘high-touch’: UK survey gives clues to the jobs of the future

Palestine refugees’ relief chief warns Security Council money to fund Gaza operations will run out in mid-June

Here are 4 ways investors can influence more secure and responsible innovation

Medicine in the 4th Industrial Revolution: the third entity of the new doctor-patient relationship

Nauru President warns of possible climate change ‘economic Armageddon’

Yanis Varoufakis: “Unsustainable debt turns the creditor into Leviathan; Life under it is becoming nasty, brutish and short”

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s