MEPs see serious deterioration of rule of law and democracy
Controversial laws must be suspended or withdrawn
EU funds for Hungary under surveillance
A press statement from the parliament explained:
“MEPs say that Hungary’s current fundamental rights situation justifies launching the formal procedure to determine whether there is a “clear risk of a serious breach” of EU values by a Member State.
The resolution calls for launching of Article 7(1). MEPs instruct the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs to draw up a formal resolution for a plenary vote.
The Hungarian Government is asked to repeal laws tightening rules against asylum-seekers and non-governmental organisations, and to reach an agreement with the US authorities, making it possible for Central European University to remain in Budapest as a free institution.
The European Parliament calls on the European Commission to strictly monitor the use of EU funds by the Hungarian Government.”
“Historic vote today in the European Parliament. With almost 400 votes, we decided that Article 7 should be triggered against Hungary: stringent control and, in the worst case, sanctions against the systematic and systemic violations of the rule of law. It is the first time in history that this article is triggered. This has been my fight for 5 years…finally we’re there, and an impressive number of EPP colleagues have voted in favour, which is the best thing.”
Engel's CSV and EPP colleagues, Viviane Reding and Georges Bach, also voted in favour of the resolution against their fellow EPP Fidesz party (which governs Hungary).
Out of Luxembourg's 6 MEPs, only Charles Goerens (DP, member of the EP ALDE group) did not vote- Mady Delvaux (LSAP) and Claude Turmes (Greens) voted in favour.
The press statement from the European Parliament said that:
“Article 7 of the Treaty on European Union provides a mechanism to enforce EU values. Under Article 7(1), the Council may determine that there is a clear risk of a serious breach of EU values by a Member State and is intended to prevent an actual breach by addressing specific recommendations to the Member State in question.
This can be triggered by one third of Member States, by Parliament or by the Commission.
The Council has to adopt a decision by a four-fifths majority after having received Parliament's consent which also requires a two-thirds majority of the votes cast and an absolute majority of MEPs.
The next phase is Article 7(2), by which an actual breach of EU values can be determined by the Council on a proposal by a third of Member States or the Commission.
The Council needs to decide by unanimity and the Parliament needs to give its consent. Article 7(3) launches sanctions, such as the suspension of voting rights in the Council.”