The European Parliament's approval of the Sargentini report criticising the state of the rule of law in Hungary is nothing more than a "massive power grab", Nigel Farage, the head of the EP's Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy group, told public news channel M1 on Wednesday.
The opposition to Viktor Orban received a boost last night when Manfred Weber, leader of the European Parliament's centre-right group the European People's Party (EPP), lost patience with his erstwhile ally and announced he would vote to trigger Article 7.
Decision is now left to the 28 European Union member states, but the ultimate repercussion of suspension of voting rights appears unlikely with the assembly describing the move as "preventive", calculated to avoid penalties completely. "MEPs across the political spectrum have taken a historic stand in defending the EU's democratic values and the rights of its citizens".
The European Commission in 2017 launched the procedure against Poland over its judicial reform, but this is the first time the EP has exercised its right to ask the EU to decide on the state of the rule of law in a member state.
The Commission, headed by EPP member Jean-Claude Juncker, has repeatedly clashed with Orban's government, especially since Budapest refused to admit asylum seekers under an European Union scheme launched at the height of the migration crisis in 2015. They strongly deny it was to secure Hungary's support in the Brexit process or out of admiration for the country's leader.
"Each state member of the European Union has the sovereign right to implement domestic reforms as it deems appropriate", it said in a statement. The rarely invoked process is created to prevent member states from breaching the EU's "core values". Similarly, the stance being taken by the Orban government is also being echoed in other countries such as Italy.
Tropical Storm Florence crawls inland as it batters North and SC
The rest of SC and North Carolina into southwestern Virginia will experience 5 to 10 inches, with isolated totals up to 15 inches. Officials said some 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to evacuate, but it's unclear how many did.
NASA posts incredible video of Hurricane Florence from space
This image provided by NASA shows Hurricane Florence from the International Space Station on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018. The European Space Agency's astronaut , the German Alexander Gerst, called the hurricane a "no-kidding nightmare".
Khan: Pacquiao Is My Priority
I've always wanted that fight", said the 31-year-old. "How does he do against Pacquiao, do I have to even answer that?" Vargas made Khan pay for the lapse in concentration, and an overhand right to the jaw sent him down.
Peter Szijjarto, Hungarian Foreign Minister said that the European Parliament's decision is a "petty revenge" against Hungary by pro-immigration politicians.
The same procedure is already underway against Poland, this time triggered by the European Commission, EUobserver reports.
"Viktor Orban's government has been leading the charge against European values by silencing independent media, replacing critical judges, and putting academia on a leash", she said. The message to government is clear: undermining and violating basic rights and values can not go unpunished in Europe, Socialist MEP Istvan Ujhelyi said.
"Individuals close to the government have been enriching themselves, their friends and family members at the expense of Hungarian and European taxpayers".
"We believe that there can be no compromises on the rule of law and democracy", Kurz told ORF television.
The European Parliament launched the action, citing the concern of a "serious breach of European values".
Orban on Tuesday attacked European lawmakers in a fiery speech at the parliamentary chambers in Strasbourg, France, saying, "Hungary is going to be condemned because the Hungarian people have decided that this country is not going to be a country of migrants".