Thursday, 20 September, 2018

European Parliament votes to trigger Article 7 against Hungary

Hungary to take legal steps against critical EU ruling - PM Orban Hungary to explore legal steps to challenge critical EU ruling
Kenny Thornton | 15 September, 2018, 22:33

"It is a type of procedure at the end of which there is no sanction, there is no danger", he said, pointing to the example of a 2013 report adopted by the European Parliament which condemned controversial changes to Hungary's constitution.

The Strasbourg motion was based on a report that voiced concerns about judicial independence and corruption in Hungary, as well as freedom of expression, academic freedom, religious freedom, and the rights of minorities.

Accusing German Chancellor Angela Merkel of wanting to replace Hungarian border-guards with "mercenaries sent from Brussels", Orban said "the next battle" will concern member states' right to defend their own borders.

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto called the vote the "petty revenge of proimmigration politicians" and said Hungary would fight it.

Losing voting rights in the European Council would ultimately hurt Hungary, rather than the government, but if the Article 7 procedure is launched it would be "Viktor Orbán's responsibility alone", Green opposition party LMP said.

It was the first time the European Union legislature had triggered disciplinary action against a member state, which could strip the Hungarian government, led by Prime Minister Viktor Orban, of its European Union voting rights.

ImageThe measure passed 448-197, after a majority of the Hungarian chief's conservative alliance broke with him.CreditCreditVincent Kessler/ReutersBy Patrick Kingsley and Steven ErlangerSept.

"This is an invalid report, that has no legal outcome", Szajer said.

Hurricane Helene could bring severe weather to the United Kingdom next week
Even if the system doesn't develop into a cyclone, it's expected to increase chances of rain in the area for Friday and Saturday. According to the latest Hurricane Florence satellite images, the massive storm is now heading towards North and SC and Virginia.

The European Parliament has voted to pursue unprecedented disciplinary action against Hungary over alleged breaches of the EU's core values.

Dutch MEP Judith Sargentini, who spearheaded the vote to enact Article 7 procedures, decried the CEU's "legal limbo" in a report (PDF) that detailed alleged violations of the EU's democratic principles.

In a brief speech to parliament on Tuesday, Orban vowed that Hungary would resist any attempt to "blackmail" it into softening its anti-migrant stance, which he charged was the motive behind the vote.

When asked if Fidesz would stay in the EPP, he said it has become clear that the EPP is seriously divided on the issue of migration. They strongly deny it was to secure Hungary's support in the Brexit process or out of admiration for the country's leader.

"The agreement of CEU with another USA university does not mean that there is a school there", Szijjarto said, referring to a controversial amendment made in the education law a year ago, which required the university to also offer courses in the United States.

The EPP's leader, Manfred Weber, said he would vote in favour of the motion targeting Orban's government, whose Fidesz party belongs to his grouping.

Anti-Islam Dutch populist Geert Wilders tweeted: "Hungary is the example for all European Union countries and Orban is a hero and deserves the Nobel Prize".

On Tuesday Weber said the European Union might need to consider launching the sanctions procedure, under Article 7.1 of the bloc's Lisbon Treaty, if Budapest did not address the criticisms.

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