EP: Government refuses to debate Hungary's rule of law
Following the European Green Party's initiative, the European Parliament will hold a debate on Hungarian rule of law once more on next Wednesday. The centre of the debate will be theOvertime Act and the newly established administrative court system that will be operating under the Justice Minister's oversight.
The Green Party's initiative urges the EP to investigate the Hungarian situation as the new developments like the administrative court system and the overtime act have given rise to increased worries regarding the rule of law in Hungary. The current debate follows the resolution establishing the risk of a serious and persistent breach to European values that the EP passed last September. The resolution prompted the ongoing Article 7 procedure that could even result in the suspension of Hungary's EU voting rights, however, the procedure is not likely to get that far as Poland already expressed their intention of vetoing any possible sanctions against Hungary.
The rapporteur, Judith Sargentini was previously urging the European Council to take steps to advance this procedure, and she recently gave her comments on the upcoming debate:
We have called this debate because the situation in Hungary is getting worse by the day. Instead of heeding the call of the European Parliament to act against the Hungarian government's blatant violations of the EU treaties and European values, European Member States are sitting idly by and emboldening Orbán. Democracy is on its deathbed in Hungary and we must do all we can to help bring it back to life and support the Hungarian people against the whims of their autocratic leader.
Hungary's Minister of Foreign Affairs Péter Szijjártó told the Hungarian public media that no representative of the government will participate in the debate next Wednesday. He said:
The campaign for the European Parliamentary Elections is on, and we'll leave this theatre performance to those who are willing participants. On our part, we are leaving the decision to the voters, and if the newly assembled European Parliament would wish to consult us after the elections, we will consider their invitation and decide if we accept it.
Of course, this does not mean that the Hungarian government's position would remain without representation, as the MEPs of Fidesz will be present at the session.
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