European Union’s disciplinary procedure against Hungary has been initiated by the European Parliament reasoning that its government endangers democracy and the rule of law.
British news portal The Guardian reported that the decision was passed with the support of 448 MEPs, narrowly clearing the required two-thirds majority, after Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orbán, was abandoned by many of his allies in the centre-right European People’s party (EPP).
It is the first time the legislature has triggered an article 7 procedure against an EU member state. The most severe punishment under article 7 is stripping a country of its voting rights in the EU.
«The Hungarian people deserve better,» Dutch MEP who led the process, Judith Sargentini. «They deserve freedom of speech, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice and equality, all of which are enshrined in the European treaties.»
The Hungarian foreign minister, Péter Szijjártó, reacted by stating that the vote was «petty revenge» against his country’s tough anti-migration policies and that it involved «massive fraud», since abstentions were not counted into the final tally.