European Parliament votes to trigger Article 7 sanctions procedure against Hungary

New Democracy to vote against Hungary in European Parliament | Kathimerini

New Democracy to vote against Hungary in European Parliament | Kathimerini

After the vote, Sargentini thanked her colleagues for standing up "for the protection of democracy and the rule of law, above their interest in party politics".

Since sweeping to power in 2010, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has pressured courts, media and non-governmental groups, as well as refusing to take in asylum seekers arriving in Europe.

On Wednesday the European Parliament voted 448-197 in favor of a report recommending the launch of a so-called Article 7 procedure, which could lead to the suspension of Hungary's EU voting rights.

But a surge in support for nationalist and populist politicians across the bloc galvanised a stronger reaction.

Speaking in front of the assembly on Tuesday, Orban said he would not bow to the EU's "blackmail" but stick to his policies.

In addition to the bill, the parliament also passed a constitutional amendment stating an "alien population" can not be settled in Hungary.

The European parliament has voted to pursue disciplinary action against Hungary over alleged breaches of the EU's core values.

Hungary's Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said the European Union move was the "petty revenge" of pro-immigration politicians against his country.

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