EU parliament votes to punish Hungary over policies against illegal immigration
The European Parliament has voted to pursue unprecedented disciplinary action against Hungary over alleged breaches of the EU’s ‘core values’.
Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government has been accused of attacks on the media, minorities, and the rule of law – charges which he denies.
More than two-thirds of MEPs backed the censure motion – the first such vote against a member state under EU rules.
Under an EU rule called Article 7, breaching the union’s founding principles can lead to the suspension of a member state’s rights as a punitive measure.
However, Hungary is currently facing “preventative” measures, which the parliament says are designed to avoid sanctions entirely.
Since coming to power, Orban’s government has taken a stance against illegal immigration. It introduced a law which made it a criminal offense for lawyers and activists to help so-called asylum seekers, for “facilitating illegal immigration”.
Orban addressed the parliament on Tuesday in defense of his government, labeling the threat of censure as a form of “blackmail” and an insult to Hungary.