As a response to the deterioration of the political situation in Hungary, Greens/EFA co-presidents Rebecca Harms and Dany Cohn-Bendit have called for the initiation of an infringement procedure under Article 7 of the EU Treaty. The Greens had already expressed their deep concerns about Hungary’s dangerous slide towards an authoritarian regime in a letter to Commission President José Barroso on 20 December 2011 (1). Commenting on the need for EU action, Rebecca Harms and Dany Cohn-Bendit said:
"The EU must act swiftly to prevent any further possible moves towards an authoritarian system in Hungary. The assaults of the Orban government on the freedom of press, the independence of the judiciary, the independence of the national bank and the severe restrictions to political pluralism are a serious and persistent breach of basic European values and rights.
"The Greens call upon the European Parliament to initiate a procedure under Article 7 of the EU Treaty to examine whether Hungary is in breach of EU fundamental values. The first step should be a decision by the leaders of the Parliament's political groups to commission a report on the situation in Hungary as soon as possible (2). The Greens also want the EP to adopt a resolution calling upon the Hungarian government to change course or face the consequences in January.
"The European People's Party should suspend the membership of the Hungarian government party FIDESZ in both the European party and in the parliamentary group of the EPP until respect for European values has been re-established in Hungary."
Note to editors:
1) See press release and letter to Barroso at http://www.greens-efa.eu/de/letter-to-barroso-5104.html
2) The necessary steps for the initiation of an Article 7 procedure are set out in rule 74(e) of the Parliament's rules of procedure.