Hungary: it is time the EU stepped in, says MEP

Article bu Claude Shannon, free photo by Wall Boat

A leading MEP has said the rule of law is under major threat in Hungary, and is in fact ‘worsening’, and has called for a “real process” from the EU to tackle the problem.

Judith Sargentini, the Dutch MEP, issued a report September 2018 which led to major disciplinary procedures against Hungary: “Since the vote on my report in September things in Hungary actually only got worse”.

She pointed to the Central European University moving to Vienna and the government’s creation of a new court under ministerial control.

She also mentioned the asylum awarded to the former Macedonian prime minister who was convicted of corruption, and the merger of 450 media platforms without due process.

Sargentini has requested that Romania, currently chairing the EU presidency, to come up with a formal timetable for examining the situation in Hungary.

It was just last September that the EU parliament voted to activate the most severe disciplinary process available against Hungary. But there has been very little progress since.

Nor can this all be explained away by Orban as a Soros plot. The latest TI report also suggests a decline in Hungary’s democratic health, with a fall of 9 points since 2012.

Tensions are particularly high due to the upcoming European elections. There are fears of major surges for the populist right, groups who have not always shown a particularly high regard for democratic norms and the rule of law.

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