Poland says it will block any EU sanctions against Hungary
Poland says it will block any EU sanctions against Hungary
Viktor Orban arrives for a debate on Hungary’s situation at the European Parliament in Strasbourg
15 September, 2018, 22:32
The European Parliament's approval of the Sargentini report criticising the state of the rule of law in Hungary is nothing more than a "massive power grab", Nigel Farage, the head of the EP's Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy group, told public news channel M1 on Wednesday.
"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 motion passed with 448 votes in favour, 197 against and 48 abstentions, marking the first time ever that the European legislature triggered an Article 7 procedure against an EU member state.
Despite the vote's symbolism, however, it is probably too late for Orban's critics to succeed in blocking Hungary's European Union voting rights or win major concessions from him.
In a historic vote, European legislators voted against Hungary to launch censure action against its government over alleged breaches of the European Union's core values.
"As of now there is no timeline" for the European Council to act, she said.
It is the first time in EU history that the European Parliament had initiated and approved such a motion, which needed a two-thirds majority to pass and was approved by 69.4 percent of the lawmakers.
The Commission, headed by EPP member Jean-Claude Juncker, has repeatedly clashed with Orban's government, especially since Budapest refused to admit asylum seekers under an European Union scheme launched at the height of the migration crisis in 2015.
Dutch MEP Judith Sargentini led the process and received a standing ovation after the result was announced.
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.
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However, Hungary has other supporters within the EU.
Cheered on by far-right parties, Orban said he rejected "the blackmail, the slander and fraudulent accusations levelled against Hungary and the Hungarian people by the European Parliament's pro-immigration and pro-migrant forces".
It added: "Each EU Member State has a sovereign right to carry out the internal reforms that it considers appropriate".
Some politicians from other countries also defended Mr Orban's government. An obvious candidate is Poland who are facing the same fate with a report brought against them by the European Commission. The report accuses the Hungarian government of eroding democracy and failing to uphold fundamental European Union values. "They made it clear that human rights, the rule of law and democratic values are not up for negotiation", she said. The EU country concerned does not take part in either vote.
Among the concerns raised at the European Parliament was the Hungarian government's actions against CEU. The President of the European Commission also voiced his support on Twitter, affirming he was "in harmony" with the decision.
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