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Success! MEPs take principled stance on Hungary
14 September 2018, 03:54 | Glen Norman
Some momentum might have been building against Orban during the evening ahead of the Wednesday vote.
For years, Orban has successfully deflected much of the worldwide condemnation about Hungary's electoral system, media freedoms, independence of the judiciary, mistreatment of asylum-seekers and refugees and limitations on the functioning of non-governmental organizations, but criticism has been growing even within the European People's Party, to which his Fidesz party belongs.
If approved, the motion would theoretically open the way for sanctions such as a suspension of Hungary's voting rights in the European Union - but in practice that is sure to be blocked by Orban's ally, the nationalist government in Poland.
If passed by a two-thirds majority, it could, eventually, result in Hungary losing its voting rights in the Council, although such a move would require unanimity among the other 27 member countries, something that would likely be very hard to achieve. 'Orban is a hero and deserves the Nobel Prize, ' he said.
"Hungary and the Hungarian people are being condemned because they proved that migration can be stopped and there is no need for migration", Szajer said.
Orban has said the mostly Muslim refugees pose an existential threat to Europe's Christian civilization.
The motion against Orban's Hungary goes well beyond the migration issue.
An immigration hard-liner, Orban has put pressure on courts, media and non-government groups since coming to power in 2010. "It is up to the European leaders to take their responsibility and stop watching from the sidelines as the rule of law is destroyed in Hungary, ' she is quoted as saying by the BBC".
Poland's ally Hungary has pledged to veto any move to impose such penalties on Warsaw, which would effectively block the measure.
Dubbed so-called "nuclear option", article 7 of the European Union treaty is a mechanism for the European Union to steer wayward members back toward the values on which the world's largest trading bloc were founded, including respect for freedom, democracy and the rule of law.
Greek members of the group were planning to do the same.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who will speak at the debate in Strasbourg, France, says the initiative is really meant to punish Hungary for its tough anti-immigration stance.
There is disquiet in the main center-right parliamentary group, the European People's Party (EPP), about his position, despite it including his Fidesz party.
The Commission, headed by EPP member Jean-Claude Juncker, has repeatedly clashed with Orban's government, especially since Budapest refused to admit asylum seekers under an European Union scheme launched at the height of the migration crisis in 2015.
Article 7 of the 2007 Treaty of Lisbon is often viewed as the EU's 'nuclear option, ' used when there's is "a clear risk of a serious breach" of the bloc's "values" by one of its members.
Even EPP leader Manfred Weber, who earlier was supportive of Orban and is seeking to become the European Commission president next year, said he had voted for triggering Article 7. Hungary called the vote fraudulent and vowed to challenge it.
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