European Parliament declares Hungary no longer a fully functioning democracy News
© WikiMedia Commons (Steven Lek)
European Parliament declares Hungary no longer a fully functioning democracy

European Parliament (EP) Thursday adopted its interim report wherein it declared Hungary as no longer a democracy with 433 votes for, 123 against, and 28 abstentions, and alleged Hungary is becoming a “hybrid regime of electoral autocracy.”

In 2018, the EP passed a resolution asking EU member states to determine whether Hungary is at risk of breaching the EU´s founding values, in accordance with Article 7(1) of the Treaty on the European Union.

EP recalled Hungary’s accession to the EU as being a “voluntary act based on a sovereign decision, with a broad consensus across the political spectrum” and underlined that any Hungarian government has a duty to eliminate the risk of a serious breach of the EU’s values. The EP raised concerns about Hungary’s constitutional and electoral systems, judicial independence, possible corruption, public procurement irregularities, freedom of speech and religion, migrants and LGBTQ+ rights.

Judith Sargentini, member of Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance said:

In the week that we debate the state of the Union, the European Parliament sends out an important message: We stand up for the rights of all Europeans, including Hungarian citizens and we defend our European values. Now it is up to the European leaders to take their responsibility and stop watching from the sidelines as the rule of law is destroyed in Hungary. This is unacceptable for a Union that is built on democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights.

Members of the Parliament urged the European Commission to utilize every course of action, including the budget conditionality regulation, refraining from approving the Hungarian Recovery and Resilience Facility plan until Hungary has fully complied with European Semester recommendations and implemented judgements of the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights, and applying the Common Provisions Regulation and the Financial Regulation more stringently.

Earlier in April, the EP announced its rule of law mechanism against the Hungarian government affecting the EU budget. Amnesty International also accused the Hungarian government of human rights violations, including restricting freedom of speech and gender-based discrimination and adopting homophobic and transphobic legislation. In February, the European Court of Justice rejected Hungary’s challenge of the EU’s budget conditionality mechanism.