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European Parliament to vote on resolution on stripping Hungary of EU voting rights

The European Parliament is set to vote on the resolution on 18 January.
Viktor Orban EU Council
Viktor Orban making his way to the EU Council in December 2018. Credit: Council of the European Union/Facebook

The European Parliament has agreed on a resolution that proposes stripping Hungary of its EU Council voting rights. On 16 January, Member of the European Parliament Petri Sarvamaa announced this development on his X/Twitter account.

The move comes after repeated Hungarian actions to block EU decisions crucial for Ukraine, the latest being a 15 December 2023 veto by Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán that blocked the EU’s attempt to secure a crucial €50 billion financial aid package for Ukraine.

According to Sarvamaa, the parliament is set to vote on this resolution on Thursday, 18 January.

“Delivering on our promises: the final letter has now been sent to the President of the Parliament,” Sarvamaa wrote.

The resolution’s primary focus is the initiation of procedures under Article 7.2 of the EU Treaty to strip Hungary of its voting rights and to start a parliamentary investigation into the legality of the European Commission’s decision to unfreeze €10 billion in funds for Hungary in December 2023, as reported by Euractiv.

Article 7.2 allows the Parliament, with a two-thirds majority approval, to call on Hungary to answer before the European Council on its breaches of the rule of law. This could lead to the suspension of Hungary’s voting rights. The draft agreement of the resolution, as obtained by Euractiv, also directs the Committee on Legal Affairs to take the necessary steps to review the legality of the Commission’s decision before the Court of Justice.

“We are also sending a strong signal to the Commission: If they simply distribute billions of euros in order to evade Hungary’s vetoes, they will not get away with it. (…). Because the rule of law does not work in Hungary, the European Parliament is now launching this lawsuit against the Commission,” Green MEP Daniel Freund told Euractiv.

However, the move to restrict Hungary’s rights within the EU faces opposition. Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico has pledged to veto any decisions aimed at limiting Hungary’s rights in the European Union.

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