Hungary : the European Parliament stands up for the core principles of the EU in historic vote

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Today, members of the European Parliament (MEPs) decided to move forward with the Article 7(1) procedure of the Treaty on European Union regarding the situation in Hungary by adopting the proposal made in the Sargentini report. FIDH welcomes this historic decision which opens the door to accountability and, potentially, sanctions for Hungary’s repeated breaches of the EU’s founding principles. The resolution sends a clear message to Hungary and other member States that the European Union will no longer tolerate the trampling of its core principles.

It is the first time that the European Parliament has initiated the launch of this procedure, and a victory for FIDH which has documented the situation in Hungary over the past few years, campaigning for concrete action to be taken by the European institutions and meeting with key EU actors. The FIDH report "Hungary: Democracy under Threat, Six Years of Attacks against the Rule of Law" was published in November 2016 following a fact-finding mission, and in April 2017, FIDH carried out another visit to Hungary, notably to gather information about recent developments regarding the National Higher Education Act and the Act ‘on the Transparency of Organisations Receiving Foreign Funds’ (NGO law 2017). In July 2018, FIDH published an open letter regarding the proposed Law on the taxation of civil society organisations working with migrants and receiving foreign funding, the Law on the protection of privacy (Draft Bill T/706) and the Law on freedom of assembly (Draft Bill T/707). Most recently, FIDH, together with Amnesty International, the Open Society European Policy Institute, Reporters Without Borders, Human Rights Watch, and other European and Hungarian civil society organisations, has been campaigning for MEPs to vote in favour of the adoption of a reasoned proposal to the Council of the EU to activate the preventive mechanism foreseen under Article 7(1) TEU regarding the situation in Hungary.

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