The Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) committee of the European Parliament will assess in the coming months whether Hungary is at risk of a serious breach of EU values, according to the EP’s recent press release.
Noting a deterioration of the rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights in Hungary and on the basis of Article 7(1) of the EU Treaty, MEPs at plenary requested the Civil Liberties Committee in May to draw up a formal resolution. To be adopted by plenary, this resolution will need to be backed by two-thirds of the votes cast and an absolute majority of MEPs, i.e. at least 376 votes.
As a next step in the Article 7 procedure, Council may then determine that there is a clear risk of a serious breach of EU values by Hungary and address specific recommendations to Budapest to counter it. Such a Council decision would require a fourth-fifths majority of the member states, the press release reads.
Judith Sargentini (Greens/EFA, NL), Parliament’s rapporteur, will present her draft report to the Civil Liberties Committee in March 2018. Other MEPs will have until April to table amendments; the vote in committee is slated for June 2018. The parliamentary committees on Culture and Education, and on Constitutional Affairs will both deliver opinions. The Budgetary Control Committee has also requested to table an opinion. The resolution will be put to a vote in plenary in September 2018. The Civil Liberties Committee plans to hold a public hearing by the end of this year with representatives of the Hungarian government, civil society and experts.
The Hungarian government branded Sargentini’s report as a new “Soros report”, because the Dutch rapporteur and the majority of the shadow rapporteurs have been listed as “reliable allies of the Open Society Foundations” in a leaked document.
Source: Hungary Journal, European Parliament