Commission and Council must use all available tools to safeguard rule of law & fundamental rights in Hungary & Poland
Rule of law
Today, on the initiative of the Greens/EFA Group, MEPs will debate the recent Hungarian law against the LGBTIQ community, as well as the June General Affairs Council meeting of EU ministers on the Article 7 procedures for failings on the rule of law in Poland and Hungary. Tomorrow, MEPs will vote on a cross-party resolution calling on the Council and Commission to use all the available tools at their disposal to protect the rule of law and fundamental rights in Europe. MEPs will also vote tomorrow on the Parliament's contribution to the Commission’s guidelines for the application of the Rule of Law Conditionality Mechanism.
Yesterday, a cross-party group of Hungarian and Polish national MPs called on the Commission to initiate the rule of law conditionality mechanism against Hungary and Poland.
Terry Reintke MEP, Greens/EFA shadow rapporteur on the ‘Breaches of EU law and of the rights of LGBTIQ citizens in Hungary’ resolution and shadow rapporteur on Poland, comments:
“This Parliament has never been so united and so critical of the situation facing the rule of law. Enough is enough, we will not sit by and watch as democracy, fundamental rights and the rule of law are dismantled inside the European Union before our very eyes. Viktor Orbán is systematically attacking minorities, from refugees to LGBTIQ people, and until recently has received little more than ‘concerned’ reactions from the Commission and Council.
“In Poland, attacks on the independence of the judiciary and measures discriminating against LGBTIQ people and women’s rights must be repealed. It’s time for both the Council and Commission to act and use all possible tools at their disposal to protect peoples’ rights, democracy and the rule of law. We are at a crucial moment and the EU must prove it is able to protect all of our rights and values.
“The Commission cannot continue to delay initiating the rule of law conditionality mechanism. The guidelines, which the Commission has spent the last six months drawing up, are unnecessary. There are very well documented clear cases that breach both the rule of law and threaten the EU’s financial interest. MPs from Poland and Hungary and MEPs across the spectrum agree that this conditionality mechanism has been in place since January and it's time to finally use it.”
Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield, Greens/EFA MEP and European Parliament Rapporteur on the situation in Hungary, comments:
“This has to be the end of the line; Viktor Orbán cannot continue his destructive path of dismantling democracy and attacking fundamental rights. Both Member States and the European Commission have the power to stop this backsliding, if they show the political courage to act.
"The Slovenian Presidency must organise a new Article 7(1) hearing of the Hungarian government in order to finalise the dialogue undertaken by the Finnish and Portugese Presidencies. Then all EU countries that are serious about protecting the rule of law should issue concrete recommendations with a deadline to act for the Hungarian government. While we welcome the recent strong statement by a majority of EU states against the new anti-LGBTIQ legislation in Hungary, those same EU countries must now walk the talk and take action in the Council. The Commission must immediately launch infringement proceedings against the Hungarian government for its attacks on fundamental rights through the stigmatisation and scapegoating of LGBTIQ people.
“Member States should also take steps against the Hungarian government for breaches of fundamental rights through the European Court of Human Rights. The Commission and Council must carefully assess the Hungarian government's Recovery and Resilience Plan and ensure that no EU funding is used in breach of fundamental rights of LGBTIQ people. EU recovery money must not be used to further undermine people’s rights and democracy in Hungary.”
Last week, the Greens/EFA Group initiated a letter to the Commission on concerns around the Hungarian government’s national Recovery and Resilience Plan. The Greens/EFA Group are calling for the Commission to demand revisions to the plan to bring it in line with the RRF Regulation.
The Hungarian and Polish national Members of Parliament letter to the Commission can be found here.