Following protests this weekend in Hungary around the so-called new "slave law", which allows employers to increase the amount of overtime for employees without financial compensation, and after the governing Fidesz party tightened control over the courts, the media and forced the closure of the Central European University, the European Council must initiate Article 7 proceedings against the Hungarian government, according to the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament.
Judith Sargentini, Greens/EFA rapporteur on the rule of law in Hungary report, comments:
"The new 'slave law' is just the tip of the iceberg for a country that is nosediving into state control and authoritarianism. With so many young people forced to leave Hungary and a complete ban on migration, Viktor Orbán is trying to force the population to work longer, without pay, to make up for the labour shortages that he has created.
"Viktor Orbán and his cronies now have almost complete control of the media and the courts and have closed a prominent university proving that Hungary's short spell of post-Communist democracy has come to an end. Unfortunately, Orbán's assaults on peoples' freedoms and individual rights only hurt the Hungarian people, which is why so many are out on the streets protesting his authoritarianism.
"The European Peoples' Party has enabled and emboldened this fully-fledged autocracy within the EU. The EPP is happy to wrap itself in blue and yellow and preach about European values, but when it actually comes to defending democracy they are nowhere to be seen. If Manfred Weber and Joseph Daul are happy to support the end of free speech and the death of the rule of law in Hungary, then those who genuinely care about the freedom of everyday Hungarians must take action. It's time for EU Member States to act on the European Parliament's rule of law in Hungary report and initiate Article 7 proceedings against the Hungarian government."