European Union parliament votes to stop Hungary’s ‘threat’ to democracy

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Taking the lead for the first time to launch a disciplinary procedure against a European Union (EU) member state, the European Parliament voted Wednesday in Strasbourg to trigger Article 7 of the European treaties against Hungary, which could lead to the suspension of Hungary's voting rights.

"Hungary and the Hungarian people are being condemned because they proved that migration can be stopped and there is no need for migration", Szajer said.

The Hungarian prime minister received harsh criticism, even within his own political family.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto said the approval of the report was "petty revenge by pro-migration politicians".

With Britain about to leave the bloc altogether in March and Europeans voting in European Parliament elections in May, the row over Hungary - and Poland, which faces a similar sanctions procedure launched by the executive European Commission in 2017 -highlights tensions between nationalist and federalist camps.

To be adopted, the proposal needs to receive the support of an absolute majority of MEPs, namely 376, and two thirds of the MEPs who take part in the vote.

The measure allows Article 7 [text] sanctions, under the Treaty of Lisbon [materials], to be brought against Hungary, which could result in the country's expulsion from the EU. Hungary will protect its borders, stop illegal migration, " he said, "and if needed we will stand up to you". Recently, the European parliament announced plans to sanction Hungary because it poses a "systematic threat" to democracy.

He claimed a report by Dutch Greens MEP Judith Sargentini was an "abuse of power", and included "serious factual misrepresentations".

Following the passage of the law, which many in Hungary saw as part of the government's wider crackdown on dissent, the Budapest-based University began holding classes in the U.S. in partnership with New York's Bard College earlier this year.

Mr. Orban's government introduced a law that criminalised representation of asylum seekers by lawyers and activists with accusations of silencing independent media and curtailing academic freedom also been levelled against him. They strongly deny it was to secure Hungary's support in the Brexit process or out of admiration for the country's leader.

The deputy head of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, said on Tuesday he shared its authors' concerns about "fundamental rights, corruption, the treatment of Roma and the independence of the judiciary" in Hungary under Orban.

Farage said the European Union - with the backing of U.S. financier George Soros "and people like that" - wanted to "break down" nation states and "change the entire identity of the entire continent".

The move saw some members of the European People's Party bloc - of which Orban's Fidesz movement is a member - vote against their ally in Budapest.

On Tuesday Weber said the European Union might need to consider launching the sanctions procedure, under Article 7.1 of the bloc's Lisbon Treaty, if Budapest did not address the criticisms.

Anti-Islam Dutch populist Geert Wilders tweeted: "Hungary is the example for all European Union countries and Orban is a hero and deserves the Nobel Prize".

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