For MEPs, Hungary is no longer a true democracy
The European Parliament on Thursday (15 September) declared that Viktor Orban’s Hungary is no longer a true democracy as Budapest seeks to give Brussels anti-corruption guarantees to avoid a suspension of European funding.
In a widely adopted report by the European Parliament Deeply regrets that the lack of decisive action by the Union has contributed to the erosion of democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights in Hungary.”who describes the country in a convoluted formula as ” hybrid regime of electoral autocracy”.
The report, which received 433 votes in favor (123 against, 28 abstentions), was presented by French environmentalist Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield, who was applauded in the Chamber after the vote.
Hungary has been led by nationalist and ultra-conservative Prime Minister Viktor Orban, 59, since 2010, who has advocated the exercise of a ” illiberal democracy” and maintains cooperative relations with Vladimir Putin’s Russia.
« Things have changed dramatically.” in Hungary in recent years, Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield underlined during a debate in the Hemicycle on Wednesday, noting in particular that ” the independence of the judiciary is as unlikely in Hungary as in Poland”.
Recovery plan blocked
« We know that it is the same family of Orban who are getting the European funds back.she continued, also quoting ” Restrictions on Parliamentary Rights”Spying on journalists, state control over universities that notorious law » against LGBT+ people that resembles Putin’s laws”but also the tightening of abortion conditions.
« If Hungary were a candidate for EU membership today, it would not be possible, it would no longer meet the accession criteria, that is the sad conclusion of the report.”commented the elected Fabienne Keller (Renew Europe).
Finally, Budapest condemned this vote: “ an insult “ towards the Hungarians, according to Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto.
« I consider it an insult to Hungarians to question Hungary’s capacity for democracy.”he stated during a press conference in Budapest and was surprised that ” some “ in Strasbourg and Brussels belittle » his land.
In 2018, the European Parliament launched a procedure against Hungary for “risk of serious violation of European values” (Article 7 of the Treaty).
Hungary is also threatened with the withdrawal of billions of euros in European subsidies because of concerns from Brussels about corruption and the awarding conditions of public contracts in this country.
The Commission, which in April activated an unprecedented mechanism against Budapest that ties the payment of funds to respect for the rule of law, will propose to member states on Sunday to suspend the bulk of the funds paid to Hungary under cohesion policy, we learned from European sources Sources.
But she will make sure that Budapest has a way out: The country could escape the sanction if it implements the announced anti-corruption reforms properly. Member States would have up to three months to decide.
Budapest presented a range of measures to try to placate Brussels, including the establishment of a ” independent authority » to combat corruption.
Hungary is also the only EU country whose post-Covid recovery plan (€5.8 billion) has still not received the green light from the Commission for similar reasons.
The Hungarian Justice Minister Judit Varga has started a tour of European capitals in the past few days.
She is trying to convince the EU commissioners and their counterparts not to financially sanction their country, which is in a difficult economic situation against the background of runaway inflation and the collapse of the national currency, the forint.
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