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Orbán’s EU voting rights challenged: “historic” petition in European Parliament

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January 10,2024 982
Orbán’s EU voting rights challenged: “historic” petition in European Parliament

Members of the European Parliament are gathering signatures to deprive Hungary of voting rights. Finnish MEP Petri Sarvamaa initiated the petition. 

The decision-making mechanism of the EU is stalled due to the Hungarian Prime Minister. The only way to restore the procedure, according to Sarvamaa, is to strip Viktor Orbán of his voting rights in the Council.

We believe that this action is necessary to protect the values of the European Union, which are enshrined in the Treaty on European Union. Hungary has been repeatedly criticized for its erosion of the Rule of Law, and especially after Hungary’s actions to disrupt the decision-making of the Member States in the December EUCO, we believe that the time has come for the European Parliament to take action,” the petition reads. 

The petition is “historic” as procedures under Article 7(2) of the Treaty on European Union have never been initiated against Hungary before, says the Finnish MEP. The article allows for the temporary withdrawal of certain EU member rights, including the right to vote in the EU Council, for a member state that has repeatedly violated EU values.

At the same time, we can show that no blackmail is allowed in the EU,” Sarvamaa emphasized.

The collection of signatures continues until Friday, January 12, after which the document will be handed over to the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola.

We believe that launching the Article 7(2) and 7(3) TEU procedures is the only way to protect the values of the European Union and ensure the functioning of decision-making processes in the European Union,” the petition reads.

Hungary has been systematically blocking the adoption of decisions supporting Ukraine – in particular, the Ukraine Facility program, which provides EUR 50 billion of financing for Ukraine. In addition, Viktor Orbán tried to block the decision on the official start of negotiations on Ukraine’s accession to the EU.

On January 7, the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, announced that he would run for the European Parliament elections in June, prematurely resigning from his position. In this case, EU leaders have another six months to choose his successor. However, if a decision cannot be made quickly, the presidency of the European Council will temporarily pass to the Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orbán. Additionally, Hungary will hold the presidency of the EU Council from July 2024 to December.

Cover: Patrick Seeger/EPA

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