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Rule of Law Violations: EU Takes Action Against Hungary

Rule of Law Violations: EU Takes Action Against Hungary

Status: 04/27/2022 12:39 PM

The European Union is taking action against Hungary for alleged violations of the rule of law. This could cut off financial support for Hungary by the billions.

In the long-running dispute over the rule of law, the EU Commission is stepping up the pace against Hungary: the Brussels authorities have activated the so-called rule of law mechanism against the government in Budapest.

European Commission Vice President Vera Jourova said a similar letter should be sent to Budapest later that day. Hungary is threatened with cuts in EU funding, estimated at millions for the first time.

Von der Leyen announced the measures in April

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced the move at the beginning of April, shortly after the re-election of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. Above all, the EU condemns corruption in Hungary and the illegal use of EU funds.

The European Union insists on democracy and fundamental rights

The so-called EU rule of law mechanism has been in effect since the beginning of 2021. Last year, the EU put again in a new regulation what exactly the rule of law means: any public authority must be “within applicable law in accordance with the values ​​of democracy and respect for fundamental rights.” The European Union is under the control of independent and impartial courts.

Criticisms of potential violations of the rule of law have long focused on Hungary and Poland. Poland has been accused of undermining its country’s separation of powers and an independent judiciary through so-called judicial reform.

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ECJ rejects complaints

In order to block the EU’s move, both countries have sued the rule of law mechanism to the European Court of Justice – to no avail. The court dismissed the case And through its ruling in February of this year, it legitimized the option to reduce the financial resources of affected EU members.

Required majority in the European Parliament

But it will still be some time before Hungary can actually scrap billions of euros. Because this step requires a majority in the EU Parliament: it must be voted for by at least 15 countries with at least 65 percent of the population living in the EU. As the affected country, Hungary is not entitled to vote in the vote.

Before that, however, Hungary has the opportunity to comment on points of criticism and to suggest measures to address grievances that the EU sees as existing.