MEPs back sanctions against Viktor Orban's Hungary over migrant policy

Viktor Orban speaks during the final electoral rally of his Fidesz party in Szekesfehervar Hungary. The European Parliament is set to debate a move toward imposing political

Viktor Orban speaks during the final electoral rally of his Fidesz party in Szekesfehervar Hungary. The European Parliament is set to debate a move toward imposing political

The right to the european Parliament, meeting within the EPP group, is "facing its ambiguities", said Wednesday, Marine Le Pen on the day of a vote in the european Parliament on a procedure for the Hungary of Viktor Orban, accused of violating EU values.

Fidesz claims that the "pro-migration majority" in the EP is preparing to launch a last and desperate attack on Hungary to take revenge on the country for refusing to take in migrants.

Since sweeping to power in 2010, Orban, once a campaigner against Hungary's Soviet Communist overlords, has used his parliamentary majority to pressure courts, media and non-government groups in ways his opponents say breach European Union rules.

The lawmakers 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 European Union voting rights. An earlier action against Poland was initiated by the European Union executive.

"It is a positive sign of this parliament taking responsibility and wanting action", Sargentini told a press conference afterwards.

If passed by a two-thirds majority, it could, eventually, result in Hungary losing its voting rights in the Council, although such a move would require unanimity among the other 27 member countries, something that would likely be very hard to achieve.

"Poland is very anxious by the decision taken by Parliament today", Joanna Kopcinska, spokeswoman for Poland's right-wing Law and Justice (PiS) government told AFP via email.

Mr Orban personally spoke to the parliament on Tuesday in defence of his country, labelling the threat of censure as a form of "blackmail" and an insult to Hungary.

The European Parliament will vote next week on a proposal to trigger Article 7 against Hungary.

Though defiant, he was resigned to the outcome, saying the parliament seemed to have already made up its mind.

"This decision condemning Hungary and the Hungarian people was made because we Hungarians have demonstrated that migration in not a necessary process and that migration can be stopped", Szijjarto added in comments to reporters in Budapest.

The EPP's leader, Manfred Weber, said he would vote in favour of the motion against Orban's government, whose Fidesz party belongs to his grouping.

The experts called on Hungary to "refrain from engaging in practices that are threatening fundamental civic freedoms, in particular, the right to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly, association, as well as the principle of non-refoulement and the ban on incitement to hatred and discrimination", and encourages European institutions to continue applying pressure on the Hungarian government.

It was not immediately clear if Budapest will launch a legal challenge.

Nearly 450 members voted in favor of the motion, 197 voted against, and 48 abstained.

"I will give no ground to nationalists and those who spread words of hate", Macron said.

The German MEP now serves as the head of the center-right EPP in the European Parliament.

The vote was hailed as "historic" by Berber Biala-Hettinga, Amnesty International's expert on human rights in the EU.

Notícias recomendadas

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.