For the European Parliament, Hungary is no longer a democracy

Given the disintegration of the democratic situation in Hungary in recent years, this country has become a “hybrid system of electoral autocracy“, denounces the European Parliament in a report adopted Thursday, which also points to the inaction of the Council, the institution representing the 27 Member States.

Five of the seven groups in the European Parliament (EPP Conservatives, S&D Socialists, RE Liberals, Greens/EFA and radical left GUE/NGL) agreed on this definition of experts consulted by the Civil Liberties Committee.

It is therefore clear that among the 27 Member States, one is no longer a true democracy“, summarized the rapporteur, the French MEP Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield (Greens / ALE).

The Council will have to take up this question

Consequently, “the Council will have to take up this question“to assess the legitimacy and legal certainty of its own decisions,”because what is voted in this body should be voted by 27 fully democratic members“, she added.

The report, adopted by 433 votes for, 123 against and 28 abstentions, notes a deterioration of the situation since a previous report in 2017, when the Prime Minister, the nationalist ultra-conservative Viktor Orban, secured his re-election last spring. .

The Parliament had certainly launched in 2018 the exceptional procedure known as Article 7, aimed at protecting the rule of law in the EU, and which can theoretically lead as a last resort to the suspension of the right to vote in the Council, but this the latter has since then made no real progress in this procedure, denounces the European Parliament.

As for the Commission, MEPs are asking it to make progress on the budgetary conditionality mechanism linked to respect for the rule of law, which it has been doing for several months. This new procedure was triggered for the first time in early April, two days after the re-election of Victor Orban. According to a proposal tabled in July by Budget Commissioner Johannes Hahn, it could lead to the suspension of 70% of the funds committed for Hungary on the 2021-2027 programming. The Commission is expected to decide on September 22 on the progress of the discussions.

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