For MEPs, Hungary is no longer a real democracy

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For MEPs, Hungary is no longer a real democracy

< p class="sc-v64krj-0 knjbxw">Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban

The European Parliament proclaimed on Thursday that Viktor Orban's Hungary was no longer a true democracy, as Budapest tries to give guarantees to Brussels on the fight against corruption in order to escape a suspension of European funding.

In a widely adopted report, the European Parliament deeply regrets that the lack of decisive action by the Union has contributed to the disintegration of the democracy, rule of law and fundamental rights in Hungary, calling the country, in a convoluted formula, a hybrid regime of electoral autocracy.

The report, which received 433 votes for [123 votes against, 28 abstentions], was presented by French environmental MEP Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield, applauded in the hemicycle after the vote.

Hungary has been led since 2010 by the nationalist and ultra-conservative Prime Minister Viktor Orban, 59, who claims to exercise illiberal democracy and maintains ties of cooperation with Vladimir Putin's Russia.

Hungary's status report was presented by French Green MEP Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield.

Things have changed dramatically in Hungary in recent years, underlined Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield during a debate in the hemicycle on Wednesday, noting in particular that the independence of justice is as unlikely in Hungary as& #x27;in Poland.

We know that it is Orban's own family that collects the European funds, she continued, also citing the restrictions on parliamentary rights, spying on journalists, government control of universities, the infamous law against LGBT+ people that resembles Putin's laws, but also the toughening of abortion conditions.

< p class="e-p">If Hungary were a candidate today to enter the EU, it would not be possible. It would no longer meet the membership criteria, this is the sad observation of the report, commented the elected Fabienne Keller (Renew Europe).

Fr At the end of the day, Budapest denounced this vote, an insult to Hungarians, according to Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto.

I consider it insulting to Hungarians that Hungary's capacity for democracy is questioned, he said at a press conference in Budapest, expressing surprise that some in Strasbourg and Brussels belittle his country.

The European Parliament had initiated in 2018 a procedure against Hungary for risk of serious violation of European values ​​(Article 7 of the Treated).

Hungary is also under threat of being deprived of billions of euros in EU funding, due to concerns from Brussels over corruption and public procurement conditions in that country.

The Commission, which activated in April against Budapest an unprecedented mechanism linking the disbursement of funds to respect for the rule of law, will propose on Sunday to the Member States to suspend the majority of the funds disbursed to Hungary in the title of cohesion policy, we learned from European sources.

But she will take care to leave a way out in Budapest. Indeed, the country could escape the sanction if it correctly implements the announced reforms in the fight against corruption. Member states would have up to three months to decide.

Budapest has presented a series of measures to try to appease Brussels, including the establishment of x27;an independent anti-corruption authority.

Hungary is also the only EU country whose post-COVID recovery plan [€5.8 billion #x27;euros] has still not received the green light from the Commission, for similar reasons.

Hungarian Minister of Justice Judit Varga has started in recent days a tour of European capitals.

She is trying to convince the European commissioners and her counterparts not to financially sanction her country, which is facing a difficult economic situation, against a backdrop of inflation galloping and falling of the forint, the national currency.

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