European Parliament may strip Hungary of its EU voting rights as early as this week: details
Members of the European Parliament have agreed on the text of a draft resolution on Hungary, which calls for the country's voting rights in the EU Council to be revoked. The document will be considered this week, in particular, on Thursday, January 18.
It is expected that with the consent of the majority consisting of the Socialists (S&D), the Green/EFA group, the center-right EPP, the liberal Renewal group, and the Left group, the parliament will approve the harsh resolution on Thursday.
Two of its key points are a call for the Council to start the process of depriving Hungary of its voting rights under Article 7.2 of the EU treaty and to launch a parliamentary investigation to determine the legality of the Commission's decision to unfreeze Hungarian funds, with the intention of launching proceedings in the EU Court of Justice.
Article 7.2 stipulates that the parliament, with the approval of a two-thirds majority, can call on Hungary to answer to the European Council for violating the rule of law, after which EU national leaders can decide to deprive the country of its voting rights.
The draft agreement also states that the Parliament instructs its legal affairs committee to take the necessary steps as soon as possible in connection with the Commission's decision leading to the unfreezing of €10.2 billion, including an analysis of legal services under Rule 149 to verify the legality of the decision in court.
"We are also sending a strong message to the European Commission: if they simply distribute billions of euros to avoid Hungary's veto, they will not get away with it," said Daniel Freund, one of the leading negotiators of the resolution, MEP from the Greens.
It is noteworthy that most EU lawmakers claimed that the European Commission's decision to allocate funds was not based on objective improvements in Hungary's judicial system and rule of law, as the EU executive claims.
It was believed that this was a concession to Budapest by Brussels before the EU summit, which made a historic decision to start accession talks with Ukraine and Moldova.