Commenting in the context of a debate in the European Parliament today on recent constitutional amendments passed in Hungary and their democratic implications, Greens/EFA co-president Rebecca Harms said:
"Fundamental rights and the rule of law are cornerstones of the European project. It is of paramount importance that all EU member states guarantee these fundamental EU values, as set out in the Treaty and the EU needs more effective instruments to ensure this.
"That we have been debating constitutional reforms in Hungary and the scale-back of democratic rights for two years, with no meaningful outcome, indicates the powerlessness of the EU. This cannot continue. We need to finally create proper instruments to ensure the EU and its institutions can act effectively to guarantee the respect of fundamental rights in its member states. This is not just about Hungary, it is clearly a wider issue, with current concerns about developments in Romania and Bulgaria, as well as previously in Italy and Greece.
"The forthcoming European Parliament report on the situation in Hungary must set out proposals both on how to proceed with regard to Hungary - whether it is more appropriate to launch an Article 7 procedure or use other instruments - but also recommend wider instruments for the future. This is also important for EU decision-making, with Viktor Orban taking decisions concerning all EU citizens in Council. The EP must move beyond political squabbling and this means that the centre-right EPP group must end its blinkered protection of its political family member Viktor Orban."