Hungary is no longer a democracy : EU Council must act on European Parliament’s conclusion

Frederick Florin / AFP

Paris-Brussels, 16 September 2022 - The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) welcomes the vote by the European Parliament on 15 September 2022 on a new report about the situation in Hungary. The country’s government is slammed for deliberately and systematically breaching European Union (EU) values. The report concludes that the central European state can no longer be considered a full democracy.

In a follow-up to their 2018 report, by which European Parliament triggered for the first time in EU history the Article 7.1 Treaty on European Union (TEU) procedure against Hungary, Members of the European Parliament urged the Council not to delay action under Article 7 any further. Echoing civil society’s calls for meaningful Council’s action, they deplored member states’idleness so far, which allowed Hungary to turn into an "electoral autocracy".
Read more about the use of Article 7 to fight the shift towards authoritarianism in Europe

Parliament urged the Council, gathering the 27 member states’ representatives, to decisively address the deterioration that has occurred since the procedure was launched in 2018. These include attacks on independent institutions and civil society organisations such as : restrictions on the right of association, attempts to curb free speech and media pluralism, undermining of equality and minority rights, particularly LGBTI+ rights and women’s rights, and systematic widespread corruption.

FIDH strongly supports Parliament’s call on member states to take responsibility for defending EU values and to take the Article 7 TEU procedure forward, by issuing clear, specific and time-bound recommendations to the Hungarian government to address the violations identified in the EP report and holding a four-fifths vote to determine that there is a clear risk of a serious breach of Union values in Hungary.

FIDH urges the Council not to give in to Hungary’s blackmailing or buy into false promises by its government and cosmetic changes that would purportedly ensure compliance with EU law and recommendations. The EU and member States must not relieve the pressure on Viktor Orban, but take a hard line against his government’s systemic and continued attacks on EU values, particularly on the rule of law and human rights. This includes refraining from any lenient approach to recovery fund and conditionality negotiations with Hungary, and withholding funding to its government absent solid guarantees that EU rights and values would be restored.

Read more