EU legislators pursued a disciplinary action against Hungary met with a vast majority of two-thirds of MEPs over breach of core European values, citing uneasiness about corruption, freedom of speech, and the rights of migrants. Prime Minister Viktor Orban said his country refuses to give in to extortion and blackmail and would seek legal ways to challenge the vote.
Viktor Orban has been the bloc’s ultraconservative hardliner regarding the acceptance of Muslim refugees. After being re-elected in April, Orban passed legislation imposing 25 % extra tax on aid organizations which support migrants not entitled to protection and jail terms for those helping them illegally enter the country.
The censure motion triggers Article 7 to suspend Hungary’s voting rights in the EU Council. A similar procedure is running against Poland, which vowed to veto any sanctions.
In a parliamentary session ahead of the punitive vote yesterday, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker delivered his fourth annual State of the Union address, saying “Europe must remain a tolerant open continent. Europe will never become a fortress turning its back on the world, notably the part of the world which is suffering.”