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Support grows for petition to revoke Hungary's voting rights at European Council

by Nate Ostiller January 12, 2024 11:36 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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Petri Sarvamaa, a senior member of the EU's parliament, is collecting signatures for a petition to revoke Hungary's voting rights at the European Council, Sarvamaa wrote on Jan. 12.

He initially launched the petition on Jan. 9, which seeks to revoke some of Hungary'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 blocked 50 billion euros ($55 billion) in EU funding for Ukraine at a summit in December, which was supported by all other members.

Hungary has maintained a favorable stance toward Russia since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine and has repeatedly obstructed sanctions against Russia or blocked other aid for Ukraine within the EU to leverage economic concessions.

Sarvamaa said that he had already collected 120 signatures from members of parliament across the political spectrum and from various countries.

The group then sent a letter to the president of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, on Jan. 12.

"We believe that this action is necessary to protect the values of the European Union," the letter read.

Sarvamaa said that the next steps would be to measure the popularity of implementing the measure in the wider parliament, which may be possible as soon as next week.

A decision to revoke Hungary's voting rights would ultimately have to be made by a majority at the European Council.

No EU country has ever had its voting rights suspended before.

Opinion: Orban is plain wrong on Ukraine
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban sought to blackball Ukraine’s bid to formally start EU accession talks last month, arguing that Ukraine was simply not ready. Ultimately, the other 26 EU member states decided to ignore Orban’s protestations and formally agreed to the start of accession talks wi…

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