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Hungarian government criticized by EU Parliament

June 12th, 2015

A left-wing pundit believes that the EP resolution against Hungary will severely harm the Orbán government. A conservative columnist on the other hand contends that it will give Viktor Orbán another chance to enhance his image as a defender of national sovereignty.

On Wednesday, the European Parliament adopted a resolution criticizing statements by the government on the death penalty and its nationwide consultation on migration. The parliament called on the Commission to “immediately initiate an in-depth monitoring process on the situation of democracy, rule of law and fundamental rights in Hungary and to report back on this matter to the European Parliament and Council before September 2015”. If necessary, the Union should apply EU article 7 sanctions, including the suspension of Hungary’s voting right in the Union, the resolution concluded.

Népszava’s Róbert Friss welcomes the EP resolution. The left-wing columnist maintains that the EU has been unprepared until now to confront a member state that “breached basic European values”. Friss believes now that unless the Orbán government changes course, the EU may apply article 7 and suspend Hungary’s voting rights by the end of this year, which would further marginalize the country.

The EP has swallowed the bait, Gábor Stier writes in Magyar Nemzet. The conservative columnist believes that the resolution against Hungary will provide Mr Orbán with another opportunity to strengthen his image as a freedom fighter defending the national interest and sovereignty. Stier adds that the mostly Liberal, Socialist and Green MEPs who voted the resolution forget that many voters throughout the EU share the Hungarian Prime Minister’s views on the death penalty and migration. As for what is at stake in the debate, Stier suggests that EU criticism is unlikely to unsettle foreign investors, but may in the long run weaken Hungary’s diplomatic standing.

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