The European Parliament agreed this Wednesday to take the first step towards initiating Article 7 proceedings against the Hungarian Government (1). Only the extreme right groups, the ECR and many members of the EPP voted against the resolution. Co-president of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament, Ska Keller, says work needs to start in the responsible Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs committee as soon as possible:
"The European Parliament has shown the courage needed to defend fundamental rights, rule of law and democracy in the European Union. It is a great success that this first step has been taken, despite the attempted blockade by conservatives in the European Parliament. Initiating Article 7 proceedings against Hungary is a long-overdue step. The EU institutions and European capitals cannot continue to look the other way."
Greens/EFA co-president Philippe Lamberts adds:
“In view of the deeply troubling situation in Hungary, it is completely irresponsible that the majority of Christian Democrats continue to stand by Victor Orbán. To take the next step in the procedure against Hungary, the votes of the Christian Democrats will be necessary. The EPP should either obtain from its member party a commitment to respect the spirit and letter of EU and international treaties or draw the conclusion that it has no place within a political family that claims to be at the heart of the European project.”
(1) The European Parliament has mandated the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs committee to draw up a report on the infringement of fundamental principles and values by the Hungarian Government. On the basis of this report, the European Parliament may invite the Council to initiate proceedings against Hungary in accordance with Article 7 (1). This requires a 2/3 majority in parliament.