Strasbourg – Hungary can no longer be considered a full-fledged democracy due to the permanent violation of European values by the government of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, members of the European Parliament said today. In the resolution adopted by a significant majority of votes, they criticized the ineffective procedure of the European Union authorities. Legislators called on the European Commission to start rigorously applying the rules allowing, among other things, to withdraw part of the EU money from Budapest.
EU institutions have long criticized Orbán’s government’s approach to justice, its restriction of media plurality, minority rights, the activities of non-governmental organizations and academic freedoms. More than four years ago, the EP initiated a procedure for violating European values, but this has not yet led to results. Budapest rejects Brussels’ objections, and Orbán is now basing his domestic political campaign on criticism of the commission and European values.
MEPs today expressed “deep regret that the lack of decisive EU measures is contributing to the breakdown of democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights in Hungary, as a result of which, according to relevant indicators, the country has turned into a hybrid regime of electoral autocracy”.
They called on the commission to use the new rules for the first time in the case of Hungary, on the basis of which a state that, among other things, does not have independent investigative bodies can lose part of the EU funds. According to the MPs, the EU executive should also not approve the Hungarian recovery plan, on the basis of which the country could draw billions of euros from the EU emergency fund for recovery after the covid-19 pandemic.
According to Reuters sources, by the end of this week, the commission could decide to withdraw part of Hungary’s money from funds intended for the development of poorer regions due to concerns about corruption.
On the other hand, in recent weeks, Budapest has started to try to unblock money from the mentioned extraordinary package and announced that it will establish an anti-corruption body and meet some of the commission’s demands. Due to concerns about the effects of the economic crisis, the Hungarian government would like to wait for the money to be approved this year, but EU officials rather question this possibility.
EU Hungary parliament law finance