EU lawmakers declare that Hungary is no longer a democracy

FILE – European Parliament members meet in a plenary session on Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022, in Strasbourg, eastern France. European Union lawmakers on Thursday, Sept. 15, 2022 said that Hungary’s nationalist government is deliberately trying to undermine the bloc’s democratic values and they deplored the failure of the 26 other EU countries to take action that would bring the country back into line. (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias, File)
© Provided by Associated Press

BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union legislators announced on Thursday that Hungary’s nationalist government had turned the country into “a hybrid regime of electoral autocracy” and that by weakening the bloc’s democratic principles, Hungary had been expelled from the community of democracies.
The parliamentarians expressed their concerns in a resolution that was approved by a vote of 433 to 123 with 28 abstentions regarding Hungary’s electoral and constitutional systems, judicial independence, potential corruption, irregularities in public procurement, LGBTQ+ rights, as well as media, academic, and religious freedoms.
The MPs claimed that many of the democratic principles of the bloc had been abandoned by Hungary, which its populist Prime Minister Viktor Orban refers to as a “illiberal democracy.” They accused the other 26 EU members of failing to act when probable abuses occurred during Orban’s twelve years in power.
The vote is the most recent in a string of confrontations between EU institutions and Budapest’s Orban administration. The European Commission, the executive branch of the organization, is anticipated to make the announcement on Sunday that it is preparing to halt some EU funding transfers to Hungary due to its alleged infractions.
“For the first time, an EU institution is articulating the terrible truth, that Hungary is no longer a democracy,” said Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield, a member of the French Greens who accompanied the resolution through the assembly.
The parliamentarians denounced “the deliberate and systematic attempts of the Hungarian administration to undermine the foundation principles of the Union” in the document.
The vote is extremely symbolic because it isolates Hungary from other EU nations over its alleged disregard for principles such as “respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law, and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities,” which are enshrined in the EU treaty.
However, neither the Orban administration will face any consequences from the decision, which took place during a plenary session in Strasbourg, France, nor will it obligate other EU nations to take any specific actions.

Delbos-Corfield claimed that instead of defending their constituents, Orban and the dominant Fidesz party “have poured their time and effort towards tearing up the fabric of democracy and shredding away the rule of law.”
The costs for Hungarian citizens, she continued, “are clear: They are having their rights taken away and possibilities undercut, all the while their state is being torn apart by autocrats and billionaires.
A report on the resolution was opposed by lawmakers who claimed it “reflect[ed] vague concerns, value judgments, and double standards, as well as subjective opinions and politically biased assertions.”
Peter Szijjarto, the foreign minister of Hungary, stated during a news conference on Thursday in Budapest that by electing Orban and his party, Hungarian voters “determined in four parliamentary elections in a row what kind of future they want for the country.”


By: Miss Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter

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