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The European Parliament has agreed in a resolution that Hungary can no longer be considered a full democracy, but rather, a "hybrid regime of electoral autocracy" with a "clear risk" of violating the core values ​​of the European Union. The text has been approved with the support of all parliamentary groups, with the sole exception of the far-right parties such as Vox, Fratelli d'Italia and the Lega. Hungary has thus become the first country to be formally warned, opening a black list which the Catalan independence movement asserts should also be extended to Spain.  

The European chamber has noted in its text, that the actions taken and tendencies seen in Hungary "represent a systemic threat to the values ​​of Article 2 of the EU Treaty and constitute a clear risk of a serious violation thereof". The text begins with an enumeration of the areas of concern to MEPs: from the functioning of the constitutional and electoral system, to the independence of the judiciary and corruption of the pluralism of the media or the freedoms of academia, religion and association. It also warns about threats to the rights of Jews, LGBTIQ people, the Roma population, migrants, asylum seekers and refugees.


Irritation with the European Commission

In the declared view of the European Parliament, the "lack of decisive action by the Union" - which has kept on hold for years the disciplinary procedure that could end with the suspension of Hungary's right to vote in the European Council - has "contributed to the rupture of democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights in Hungary, and has turned the country into a hybrid regime of electoral autocracy”. MEPs also continue to ask Brussels to use the tools at its disposal to deal with these threats, such as opening cases against the country for infringement of Community legislation or complaints before the European Court of Justice, and regret the delay in launching the new mechanism that allows funds to be frozen if the principles of the rule of law are not respected.

In fact, the European Commission is at present finalizing a proposal to freeze the disbursement of European funds to Hungary under this mechanism and intends to give the green light to a recommendation this Sunday, as confirmed by community sources. Brussels will thus propose to suspend funding payments to Budapest at a meeting of commissioners at which the next step of the procedure will be activated, with the publication of an analysis of the situation in Hungary and the relevant recommendations to member states, who will have one month to definitively approve the suspension of funds. Hungary is one of the largest beneficiaries of the European Cohesion Policy, with more than 22.5 billion euros allocated until 2027.

The members of the European Parliament also recall their usual warning to the European Commission that the Hungarian plan to access the post-pandemic recovery funds should not be approved "as long as Hungary has not fully complied with all the specific recommendations in the field of the Rule of Law and applied all relevant judgments of the Court of Justice". Budapest has been allocated almost 6 billion euros of the post-pandemic recovery plan and remains the only country whose plan has not been validated by Brussels.

In the main photo, the Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orban | Photo: EFE