Brussels is so scared of Viktor Orban there's now a campaign to STRIP Hungary of voting rights in bid to stop him

Viktor Orban's Hungary could be set for an EU punishment.

Viktor Orban's Hungary could be set for an EU punishment.

Michael  Heaver

By Michael Heaver

Published: 09/01/2024

- 15:37

Updated: 10/01/2024

- 08:19

Some in Brussels are intent on making an example of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban

The prospect of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban gaining any authority within the European Union dynamic has not gone down well in Brussels.

As I covered yesterday, the announcement by Belgian Charles Michel that he would be stepping down as EU Council President has led to a huge ripple effect.

That's because Hungary is set to take over the rotating presidency - straight after the European Elections, where Eurosceptic parties are expected to perform strongly.

So the prospect of Viktor Orban leading EU meetings has seen shivers sent up plenty of EU spines.

Hungary has been at loggerheads with the European Union, with Orban vetoing tens of billions of Euros worth of funding for Ukraine.

In return, billions in funding to Hungary has been frozen by the EU.

Now a Finnish MEP has sought to stop the prospect of Orban's Hungary gaining any control after the departure of the EU Council President.

Petri Sarvamaa has put forward a proposal to effectively strip Hungary of voting rights at the Council.

In a letter addressed to the EU Parliament President Roberta Metsola, it is made clear that: "We, the undersigned Members of the European Parliament, are writing to you today to take action without a delay to launch a process, in line with Rule 89(1)(b) of the Rules of Procedure, to vote on a proposal calling on the Commission or the Member States to submit a proposal under Article 7(2) of the Treaty on European Union on Hungary.

"Starting the process under Article 7(2) TEU marks the first step to determine the existence of a serious and persistent breach of EU values.

"Upon confirming such a breach, it enables the Member States to proceed to the second step under the Article 7(3) TEU, potentially resulting in the suspension of specific membership rights of Hungary, including voting rights in the Council.

"We believe that this action is necessary to protect the values of the European Union, which are enshrined in the Treaty on European Union.

"Hungary has been repeatedly criticized for its erosion of the Rule of Law, and especially after Hungary’s actions to disrupt the decision-making of the Member States in the December EUCO, we believe that the time has come for the European Parliament to take action."

It goes on to argue that: "In launching the Article 7(2) TEU procedure against Hungary, the European Union would be sending a clear message to Hungary that its actions are unacceptable.

"It would also be sending a message to all Member States that the European Union will not tolerate any backsliding on the Rule of Law or disrupting the principle of sincere cooperation, as enshrined in the Treaties.

"We believe that launching the Article 7(2) and 7(3) TEU procedures is the only way to protect the values of the European Union and ensure the functioning of decision-making processes in the European Union."

So Hungary could now be looking at a suspension of voting rights, such is the level of opposition to Orban from some in Brussels.

It would be a remarkable development that would surely result in an equally drastic response from Budapest.

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