The situation has deteriorated such that Hungary has become an “electoral autocracy”

EU inaction exacerbated the backslide; recovery funds should be withheld until the country complies with EU recommendations and court rulings.

Lack of progress in the Article 7 process would amount to a rule of law breach by the Council

Parliament condemns the “deliberate and systematic efforts of the Hungarian government” to undermine European values and demands results in the Article 7 process.

The lack of decisive EU action has contributed to the emergence of a “hybrid regime of electoral autocracy”, i.e. a constitutional system in which elections occur, but respect for democratic norms and standards is absent, MEPs say.

Parliament’s key concerns relate to: the functioning of the constitutional and electoral system, the independence of the judiciary, corruption and conflicts of interest, privacy and data protection, freedom of expression, academic freedom, freedom of religion, freedom of association, the right to equal treatment, the rights of persons belonging to minorities, including Roma and Jews, the fundamental rights of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees, and economic and social rights.

The values enshrined in Article 2 of the EU Treaties, including democracy and fundamental rights in the country have further deteriorated since 2018, through the “deliberate and systematic efforts of the Hungarian government”, and exacerbated by EU inaction.

Parliament deplores the inability of the Council to make meaningful progress to counter democratic backsliding. MEPs emphasise that Article 7 (1) does not require unanimity among member states to identify a clear risk of a serious breach of EU values, nor to issue concrete recommendations and deadlines. They say any further delay in acting under Article 7 rules to protect EU values in Hungary would amount to a breach of the principle of the rule of law by the Council itself.

MEPs urge the Commission to make full use of all tools at its disposal and, in particular, the budget conditionality regulation. They call on the Commission to

  • refrain from approving the Hungarian the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF- plan until Hungary has fully complied with all relevant European Semester recommendations and implemented all the relevant judgements of the EU Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights;
  • exclude from funding those cohesion programmes contributing to the misuse of EU funds or to breaches of the rule of law; and
  • apply the Common Provisions Regulation and the Financial Regulation more stringently in order to tackle any misuse of EU funds for political motives.

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