Concerns Over Hungary's 2024 EU Presidency Tabled by European Parliament

  • 2 Jun 2023 11:49 AM
  • Hungary Matters
Concerns Over Hungary's 2024 EU Presidency Tabled by European Parliament
The European Parliament on Thursday passed a resolution condemning what it calls “deliberate and systematic efforts” to undermine EU values in Hungary, and expressing concern over Hungary taking over the bloc’s rotating presidency in the second half of 2024.

In the resolution adopted with 442 votes in favour, 144 against and 33 abstentions, EU lawmakers call into question how Hungary would be able to credibly fulfil its role as president of the Council of the European Union next year.

The EP emphasised the importance of the role of the Council president in “driving forward the Council’s work on EU legislation, ensuring the continuity of the EU agenda and representing the Council in relations with the other EU institutions”.

According to the resolution, the EP “questions how Hungary will be able to credibly fulfil this task in 2024, in view of its non-compliance with EU law and the values … as well as the principle of sincere cooperation”.

The assembly therefore asks the Council “to find a proper solution as soon as possible”, and noted that the EP “could take appropriate measures if such a solution is not found”.

EU lawmakers also expressed their concern over the situation of EU values in Hungary, which they said had continued to deteriorate despite the EP launching the Article 7 procedure against the country.

The resolution condemns the government’s “anti-EU communication campaigns” which the EP said was “part of the government’s strategy to divert attention from its non-compliance with EU values and systemic corruption in the country”.

In view of the 2024 European parliamentary and local elections, MEPs called on the Hungarian government to bring its conduct of elections in line with international standards.

The document calls attention to “reports about intimidation methods, such as visits by the secret police to some companies’ offices, and other forms of pressure being used by certain individuals known to be linked to the Prime Minister’s close circle or office”, which it said were aimed at “bringing those parts of the Hungarian industry deemed to be ‘strategic’ under their control”.

The EP also expressed concern over frozen EU funds and the delay in the relevant reforms.

Fidesz MEP Slams Ep Resolution on Concerns Over Hungary

Fidesz MEP Balázs Hidvéghi has said that the "pro-war, left-wing members of the EP cannot accept that Hungary stands by peace and rejects incitement to war", in response to the adoption by MEPs of a resolution condemning Hungary.

Speaking to Hungarian journalists after the vote in Brussels on Thursday, Hidvéghi said that because its pro-peace position pressure on Hungary was continuing and intensifying in Brussels.

Hidvéghi said Hungary’s left-wing MEPs had played an active role in the legislative body stepping up the pressure on Hungary, arguing that they had sponsored, supported and voted for the resolution.

He noted that, according to the resolution adopted on Thursday, the European Parliament would strip Hungary of the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union the country is due to hold in the second half of 2024.

This, Hidvéghi said, “is a gross violation of the effective EU treaties, which proves that if there is a rule of law and corruption problem, it is here in Brussels, and not in Budapest”.

He said it was an “interesting addendum to all this” that the resolution had also been supported by Socialist MEP Marc Tarabella, who was linked to the “Brussels corruption scandal” and had “only been released from prison a few days ago”.

Fidesz MEP: 67 Conservative MEPs Sign Letter in Support of Hungary

Sixty-seven right-wing MEPs have signed a letter in support of Hungary and calling on the European Commission “not to give in to blackmail and pressure by the European Parliament”, MEP of Hungary’s ruling Fidesz Kinga Gál told MTI on Wednesday.

In reaction to a recent call by five group leaders of the European Parliament aimed at further blocking community funding for Hungary, the letter pointed out that “the demands by group leaders of the EP can in no way be interpreted as part of the EU’s conditionality mechanism,” Gál said.

The letter, Gál said, reflected “solidarity with Hungary … as well as the fact that Hungary is not alone with its position that such pressure and blackmail must not be considered by the European Commission”.

Gál insisted that the EP was exerting pressure “because the Hungarian government continues to support peace in Ukraine and will not change its anti-war and anti-migration position, just as well it will not drop its position on child protection”.

MEP Tamás Deutsch said signatories of the letter “insist that the European Commission should consistently enforce the EU’s regulations and say no to pressure, and pass its decisions based on facts.”

Deutsch said the Hungarian government had made an agreement with the commission and fulfilled its obligations.

The legal changes Hungary has introduced will take effect on Thursday, “removing all obstacles for Hungary to access EU development funds … but the European Left seeks to prevent that and blackmail the European Commission to come up with further political preconditions for Hungary,” Deutsch said.

“They want to force us into the war in Ukraine, but we have made a commitment for peace. We won’t change that, nor will we change our position against migration or the gender ideology madness,” Deutsch said.

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