"EU trying to deprive Hungary of its rights" - English

Frederick Owens
September 16, 2018

The Czech government stands behind Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis said on Thursday.

Poland's foreign ministry has voiced "concern" after Eurodeputies on Wednesday backed a plan to trigger a punitive procedure against Hungary amid accusations of flouting European Union rules on democracy, civil rights and corruption.

Even EPP leader Mandred Weber, who earlier was supportive of Orban and is seeking to become the European Commission president next year, said he had voted for triggering Article 7.

The most severe punishment under the Article 7 procedure is stripping the country of its voting rights in the European Union, however, that is highly unlikely to happen as the rest of the European Union needs unanimity and Poland's nationalist and anti-immigration government is expected to block any tough action against Mr Orban.

When asked for comment, a Hungarian government representative cited Palkovics' interview from June in which he had said they are "currently examining whether actual training is being performed by the CEU in the United States with the involvement of education experts".

"The Sargentini report was not adopted today, because only by violating voting rules was it possible to reach the necessary two-thirds majority laid out in the treaty", Szajer said, arguing that if they had included abstentions, the two-thirds majority would not have been achieved.

"Hungary will not accede to this blackmailing".

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Szijjarto said Hungary was considering legal options to appeal the result because of the way the vote was tallied. He cracked down on media freedoms, rewrote laws to favor his center-right Fidesz party, and has blasted Brussels for allowing a wave of more than 1 million migrants into Europe in 2015. Farage said it was good to finally see a European leader "stand up for his principles".

The report notes concerns related to the functioning of the constitutional and electoral system; the independence of the judiciary and of other institutions and the rights of judges; 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, and protection against hateful statements against such minorities; the fundamental rights of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees; and economic and social rights.

'The alt-right in Europe is trying to undermine this European Union.' within.'

It is the first time in EU history that the European Parliament had initiated and approved such a motion, which needed a two-thirds majority to pass and was approved by 69.4 percent of the lawmakers.

The European Parliament's approval of the Sargentini report criticising the state of the rule of law in Hungary is nothing more than a "massive power grab", Nigel Farage, the head of the EP's Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy group, told public news channel M1 on Wednesday. "We had enough dialogue".

"If there isn't a clear signal from the European Parliament, then we have a very tough few months ahead of us, " said Marta Pardavi, co-chair of the Budapest-based Hungarian Helsinki Committee.

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