EU Parliament votes 433 to 123 to brand Hungary an “hybrid regime of electoral autocracy”

The goal is to withhold Hungary's share of the EU's Covid-19 relief funding

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban
The resolution was submitted by Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield of France’s Green Party.

Guest column from Renaissance Horizon…

Hungary is the only country in the European Union where one entity is winning national elections with an outright majority and creating stable governments. The alliance of Fidesz and the Christian Democratic People’s Party [KNDP] has won a majority of the seats in the Hungarian parliament in the last four national elections. This is the only country in the EU where anything like this is happening.

Fidesz is the main party, and its leader, Viktor Orban, has been Prime Minister since 2010. He was also Prime Minister from 1998 to 2002. Fidesz has greater popular support than any other party in the European Union.

The average European political party is small and can only hope to share power via complex coalitions with multiple other minor parties. Early elections are common as these coalitions fall often.

Besides having one of the most stable governments in the EU, Hungary also has one of the most conservative. Hungary is often the target of vitriol by other European leaders and the Western media.

Now the EU Parliament has voted 433 to 123 (with 28 abstentions) to brand Hungary a “hybrid regime of electoral autocracy.” The resolution was spearheaded by Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield of France’s Green Party. It is titled “Existence of a clear risk of a serious breach by Hungary of the values on which the Union is founded.”

Ultimately, the resolution is symbolic, but it is aimed at setting the stage to withhold Hungary’s share of the EU’s Covid-19 recovery funds. This would be done by invoking Article 7, the so-called “nuclear option.” There have been previous attempts at using Article 7 against both Hungary and Poland, but none have been successful.

The resolution insinuates that Hungary’s electoral and judiciary systems are compromised for Fidesz to perform so well. It also attacks Hungary for its lack of support for immigration and the LGBT political agenda. This supposedly violates EU “core values.”

The EU has also been targeting Hungary because they refuse to send military aid to Ukraine. They have only sent humanitarian aid to civilians.

A group of MEPs from Hungary, Spain, Italy, Poland, and France signed a statement saying, “This text is yet another attempt by the federalist European political parties to attack Hungary and its Christian-democratic, conservative government for ideological reasons. This report is a disappointing piece of work by the European Parliament, especially at a time when the unity of the European Union should be more important than ever.”

The vote pitted the two most conservative EU groups, the ECR and ID, against the EPP, Renew, S&D, Greens, and the GUE/NGL

Only the New Flemish Alliance, part of the ECR, broke rank and voted in favor.

Among the EPP, the establishment “center-right” grouping, Fidesz allies KNDP, the Slovenian Democratic Party, and the Romanian Magyar Interest party voted against it. Four of seven members of the Les Republicans from France voted against it. The other three abstained.

Fidesz is currently unaffiliated with any EU group. They withdrew from the EPP group after some members’ prolonged campaign to have them expelled. Fidesz now acts as a bridge between the ECR, the ID, and their remaining allies in the EPP. They aim to position themselves at the center of a broader conservative alliance of MEPs that transcends individual EU groups.

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