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 European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

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

A new world that demands new doctors in the fourth industrial revolution

MEPs list conditions for new EU-Azerbaijan deal

Migration has set EU’s political clock ticking; the stagnating economy cannot help it and Turkey doesn’t cooperate

“Beyond the beach: tackling plastic pollution upstream”, a Sting Exclusive by Erik Solheim, Head of UN Environment

Fighting cybercrime – what happens to the law when the law cannot be enforced?

International community makes important progress on the tax challenges of digitalisation

Copyright: European Union , 2017; Source: EC - Audiovisual Service; Photo: Frank Molter

EU hits deadlock on the future of glyphosate a month before deadline

A Sting Exclusive: EU Commissioner Mimica looks at how the private sector can better deliver for international development

Bayer’s cross at night (Copyright: Bayer AG)

The EU clears Bayer-Monsanto merger amid wide competition and environmental concerns

3+1 issues to haunt tomorrow’s EU Summit

UN lauds special chemistry of the periodic table, kicking off 150th anniversary celebrations

Trump to run America to the tune of his business affairs

Another 170 migrants disappear in shipwrecks, UN agency reiterates call for an end to Mediterranean tragedy

Counting unemployment in the EU: The real rate comes to anything between 16.1% and 20.6%

Idea of ‘homogenous’ Polish culture is a myth: UN human rights expert

Mali not fulfilling its ‘sovereign role’ in protecting its people: UN human rights expert

Syria: ‘Violence, displacement’ and cold kill 11 infants ‘in the past two days’

EU finally agrees on target for 40% greenhouse emission cuts ahead of Paris climate talks

‘Forgotten crisis’ in Cameroon, with attacks on the rise, millions in need of ‘lifesaving assistance’

Did young people just kill television?

At least 2.5 million migrants were smuggled in 2016, first UN global study shows

Korea must enhance detection and reinforce sanctions to boost foreign bribery enforcement

Iceland won’t talk with Brussels about EU accession

Security Council imposes arms embargo on South Sudan

UN chief ‘commends’ leadership of Greece and former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, as name dispute draws to final close

Asian and Pacific economies: decreases in tax revenue highlight need to broaden tax bases

The remote doctor, can it ever work?

Syria: Why did the US-Russia brokered ceasefire collapse? What does the duo care for?

EU to spend €6 billion on youth employment and training futile schemes

Guatemala: UN anti-corruption body will continue working, as Constitutional Court blocks Government expulsion

Can the US deal a blow to EU and Russia together over Ukraine?

How do we build an ethical framework for the Fourth Industrial Revolution?

Greenpeace’s saints and sinners in the tech world

Public opinion misled by the Commission on air transport safety

Unemployment and immigrants haunt the EU; who can offer relief?

MEPs commend Ukraine‘s reform efforts and denounce Russian aggression

UN launches plan to promote peace, inclusive growth in Africa’s Sahel

New report says better metrics could have prompted stronger response to the crisis

EU Parliament semi worried over democratic deficit

Summer 2018 Interim Economic Forecast: Resilient Growth amid increased uncertainty

FROM THE FIELD: Enduring freezing winter in a war zone

Why this is the year we must take action on mental health

Celebrating the Customs Union: the world’s largest trading bloc turns 50

EP leaders call for negotiations on upgraded Transparency Register to continue

Reflections on the the biggest refugee crisis since World War II

Can the EU afford to block China’s business openings to Europe by denying her the ‘market economy status’?

Parliamentary bid to democratize Myanmar constitution a ‘positive development’ says UN rights expert

UN chief encourages victims of terrorism to ‘raise up their voices’

‘Deteriorating’ human rights in Belarus amounts to ‘wholescale oppression’: UN expert

Businesses succeed internationally

As human genome editing moves from the lab to the clinic, the ethical debate is no longer hypothetical

A Valentine’s Special: heart has nothing to do with it, it’s all Brain

Force used against protestors in Gaza ‘wholly disproportionate’ says UN human rights chief

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is about to hit the construction industry. Here’s how it can thrive

UN expert calls for international investigation into ‘evident murder’ of Jamal Khashoggi

Azerbaijan chooses Greek corridor for its natural gas flow to EU

Unlock the value proposition for Connected Insurance

South Korea: A cherished partner for the EU

More billions needed to help Eurozone recover; ECB sidesteps German objections about QE

Moving from a promise made in Sweden towards hope for peace in Yemen

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