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European Parliament to vote on resolution on stripping Hungary of EU voting rights on Jan. 18

by Martin Fornusek January 16, 2024 9:10 PM 2 min read
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban arrives at the European Council summit in Brussels on Dec. 14, 2023. (Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)
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The European Parliament will vote later this week on a resolution that calls for stripping Hungary of its voting rights at the European Council, Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Petri Sarvamaa said on Jan. 16.

Earlier this month, Sarvamaa launched a petition to remove some of Budapest's membership rights, including voting, due to the country's "erosion of the rule of law" and obstructive behavior in the face of EU consensus building.

Hungary has been blocking a 50-billion-euro funding package for Ukraine just as Kyiv entered the third calendar year of an all-out war with Russia.

"Delivering on our promises: the final letter has now been sent to the President of the Parliament," Sarvamaa, a senior member of the parliament who sits on several committees, said on the social media platform X.

"On Thursday (Jan. 18), we will be voting on a joint motion resolution, negotiated this morning with five political groups in the parliament."

The resolution calls on the European Council to strip Hungary of its voting rights under Article 7.2 of the EU treaty, which stipulates the option to suspend a member's voting rights in case of a "serious and persistent breach."

The European Council must then decide unanimously whether the breach is still occurring, after which it votes by a qualified majority to suspend the rights of the accused country.

Most political groups in the European Parliament also want a probe into the EU Commission's decision to unfreeze around $11 billion in funds for Hungary shortly before the December summit, the Euractiv outlet wrote.

Many MEPs criticized the decision, saying that the executive arm was giving in to Hungary's blackmail.

The European Commission said that the decision was taken strictly due to procedural reasons, namely due to judicial reforms undertaken by Hungary.

Although Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban blocked the funding for Ukraine, he allowed other EU leaders to reach a consensus on accession talks with Kyiv by leaving the room during a key vote.

Opinion: Orban is plain wrong on Ukraine
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