In an unprecedented transfer, the European Parliament is questioning if Hungary ought to be allowed take on the EU’s rotating presidency subsequent 12 months, in accordance to a brand new draft decision to be voted on subsequent week.
The parliament “questions how Hungary is ready to fulfil this process credibly in 2024 in view of incompliance with EU legislation and the values enshrined in Article 2 TEU [EU treaty] in addition to the precept of honest cooperation,” the draft decision, first reported by Hungarian newspaper Népszava and in addition seen by EUobserver, stated.
The parliament “asks the Council to discover a correct resolution as quickly as doable; reminds that the parliament might take applicable measures if such resolution isn’t discovered”.
A vote on this decision is predicted subsequent Thursday (1 June).
“If Hungary would not take honest measures to enhance the rule of legislation, I feel that they’re unfit to maintain the EU presidency in 2024,” Swedish MEP for The Left, Malin Björk, one of many lawmakers backing the decision, stated.
“If the council would not act to make this clear, I would like to see that we in the EP [European Parliament] take decisive motion. That can imply various things, reminiscent of placing trilogues [legislative negotiations] on maintain, or not inviting Hungarian ministers to committee work and conferences,” Björk stated, on what measures might the parliament take.
Hungary will take over the council’s rotating presidency in July 2024 for six months. The order of the presidencies is determined by the governments.
The authorities of prime minister Viktor Orbán has been beneath scrutiny for years by the EU beneath the Article 7 process, and it’s the solely member state whose EU funds have been suspended due to considerations over the rule of legislation and democratic backsliding.
“This would be the first time a member state that’s beneath the Article 7 process will take over the rotating presidency of the council,” French Green MEP Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield, who’s the important thing lawmaker on Hungary’s Article 7 process and backs the decision, stated.
“We are critically involved by the flexibility of the Hungarian authorities to lead the EU Council presidency and cling to European values, as long as Hungary can’t be thought-about a functioning democracy,” she added.
Hungary’s justice minister Judit Varga on Thursday (25 May) reacted in a Facebook publish, saying the parliament “was not assigned any position in this course of”, including that “of those that had been really assigned any position in this course of, nobody thought that Hungary shouldn’t take up its rightful place”.
“We won’t let such a chance be taken away from Hungary!,” she added.
Under Orbán, Hungary has been more and more utilizing its veto, and utilizing a hostile tone with the EU to whip up anti-Brussels sentiment in his nation to solidify his voter base.
A number of examples: in 2020 it threatened to upend negotiations on the long-term EU funds, it has diluted or vetoed sanctions proposals on Russia , labored to soften criticism of China and Israel and blocked the usage of wording referring to “gender” in completely different EU texts.
And Budapest has been accused by different member states and EU establishments of “blackmail”.
As just lately as Tuesday, Germany’s defence minister Boris Pistorius stated he was “considerably disenchanted or irritated by the behaviour of Hungarian mates” for blocking €500m of EU reimbursements to EU nations sending army support to Ukraine, Germany’s dpa reported.
Why does it matter?
The roster of nations taking over the EU’s presidency is preset, based mostly on a call made by EU governments, not the parliament.
The present working order was set in 2016, (after the UK’s Brexit vote) until 2030.
MEPs concerned with the draft decision on Hungary anticipate the EU Commission and the council subsequent Wednesday to clarify the way it will work with Hungary when it holds the EU presidency.
Hungary’s six month stint will come proper after the European elections in June. Then the EU calendar is predicted to be dominated by organising the brand new parliament and negotiating for the highest EU jobs, such because the EU Commission and European Council presidents.
The nation that runs the EU presidency will get to set the agenda, and has the duty of pushing by means of laws in the EU equipment, giving weight to these it values extra. However, presidencies are supposed to be facilitators and impartial brokers with different member states, and with EU establishments.
Immediately after the elections, the standard legislative grind will come to a halt, however Orbán could have a big platform to exert his affect.
“Orbán will probably be in a place to affect rather a lot, particularly the preparation for the negotiators on the highest jobs,” stated an EU official, including that “Orbán can set the scene for the distribution of positions.”
Last time round, it was opposition from Hungary and Poland that prevented then centre-right candidate Manfred Weber (EPP), and centre-left candidate Frans Timmermans (S&D), from clinching the EU Commission presidency.
If present EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen needs to maintain her job, she has an “extraordinarily difficult political course of” to navigate — with Hungary’s EU funds at the moment suspended, the official added.
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