The European Parliament’s rapporteur, responsible for assessing the situation of rule of law in Hungary arrived in Budapest on Tuesday, as Kisalfold.hu reported.
Judith Sargentini (Greens/EFA, NL), was appointed in last July by the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) committee of the European Parliament to assess whether Hungary is at risk of a serious breach of EU values. 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 2017 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 EP’s press release reads.
Levente Magyar, state secretary of Hungary’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade held a press conference in the afternoon, after holding a discussion with Sargentini. Magyar described the discussion as “friendly”, but added that he was “shocked” to realise that the Dutch politician was unaware of some basic data and circumstances.
He stressed that the EP’s resolution was already an attack against Hungary, as part of the ongoing conflict over migration. Magyar recalled that Hungary – and some other member states – rejected the relocation scheme in principle, adding that a number of other member states formally accepted the quota and then failed to fulfil it. The state secretary called the relocation scheme “a total failure”. He said that “some EU politicians” use every opportunity to attack Hungary, because its government and people don’t want to give up their sovereign right to decide who they want to live together with.