Monday, 12 November, 2018

EU sanction threat 'no danger' to Hungary: PM Orban

German Chancellor Merkel welcomes Czech Prime Minister Babis in Berlin Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis attends a news conference in Berlin Germany
Steven Clarke | 15 September, 2018, 22:32

The Strasbourg motion was based on a report that voiced concerns about judicial independence and corruption in Hungary, as well as freedom of expression, academic freedom, religious freedom, and the rights of minorities.

"The Hungarian people deserve better", Sargentini said.

The Hungarian prime minister received harsh criticism, even within his own political family.

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".

If approved, the motion would go to the EU's national leaders, theoretically opening the way for sanctions such as a suspension of Hungary's voting rights in the bloc.

It was the first time the European Union legislature had triggered disciplinary action against a member state, which could strip the Hungarian government, led by Prime Minister Viktor Orban, of its European Union voting rights.

To be adopted, the proposal needs to receive the support of an absolute majority of MEPs, namely 376, and two thirds of the MEPs who take part in the vote.

Dutch MEP Judith Sargentini, who spearheaded the vote to enact Article 7 procedures, decried the CEU's "legal limbo" in a report (PDF) that detailed alleged violations of the EU's democratic principles. Hungary will protect its borders, stop illegal migration, " he said, "and if needed we will stand up to you".

"Poland will vote against any possible sanctions to be imposed on Hungary within the European institutions", the ministry claimed.

Florence pours on the rain in the Carolinas, swelling rivers
Emergency declarations were in force in Georgia, South and North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. Flash flooding has spread into Raleigh and will expand over Charlotte as well, where flash flood advisories are in effect.

Following the passage of the law, which many in Hungary saw as part of the government's wider crackdown on dissent, the Budapest-based University began holding classes in the U.S. in partnership with New York's Bard College earlier this year.

The vote on the proceedings, known as Article 7 after a provision in the European Union treaties, was welcomed by Orban's increasingly besieged foes inside Hungary, who saw it as their final hope to preserve democratic values at home, and his critics across Europe.

Orban might have lost some key allies as EPP lawmakers said their caucus meeting showed many would vote in favour of Article 7.

Since sweeping to power in 2010, Orban has pressured Hungary's courts, media and, as well as refusing to take in asylum seekers arriving in Europe. As in some other European Union countries, the centre-left has been largely marginalised.

"Each EU Member State has a sovereign right to carry out the internal reforms that it considers appropriate", the message said.

When asked if Fidesz would stay in the EPP, he said it has become clear that the EPP is seriously divided on the issue of migration.

His refusal to budge this time cost him support in the EPP conservative grouping, which includes German Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats, who have criticised some of Orban's policies.

"I have always been in favor of building bridges and I want to continue to do so, but yesterday (Tuesday) I didn't see any readiness from the Hungarian PM to make a move towards his European Union partners and address our concerns", Manfred tweeted.

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