European Parliamentarians collect signatures to strip Orbán of EU Council voting rights

January 15,2024 730
European Parliamentarians collect signatures to strip Orbán of EU Council voting rights

European parliamentarians collected the necessary signatures to strip Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán of voting rights in the EU Council, announced the initiator of the appeal, Finnish MEP Petri Sarvamaa.

The document has been endorsed by 120 members of the European Parliament, receiving support from MEPs representing various political groups and from “several Member States,” Sarvamaa said.

We are one step closer to withdraw Orbán’s voting rights. Next it would be crucial to measure the final overall support for the petition’s idea in plenary as soon as possible,” said the Finnish MEP.

Finnish MEP mentioned that his proposal could be included in the European Parliament’s resolution on Hungary, for which the vote is expected later this week.

The petition is deemed “historic” as procedures under Article 7(2) of the Treaty on European Union have never been initiated against Hungary before, explained the Finnish MEP. The article allows temporarily revoking certain rights, including the right to vote in the EU Council, for a country that repeatedly violates EU values.

On January 9, Sarvamaa disclosed details regarding the signature collection process. The petition was launched in response to the announcement of Charles Michel’s early departure from the presidency of the European Council, as he expressed intentions to vie for a seat in the European Parliament.

EU leaders have six more months to choose Michel’s successor as the current head of the European Council. However, if a decision is not reached quickly, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán will temporarily take over the leadership of the European Council. Additionally, Hungary will preside over the EU Council from July 2024 to December.

Previously, Zenon Kowal, a UWC Board of Directors member, a Political Advisor to the Association of Ukrainians in Belgium, and a Special Advisor to the Embassy of Ukraine in Belgium (1992-1995), explained whether Ukraine’s support in the EU would change in the event of Orbán’s appointment.

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