Hungary rebuked by European Union lawmakers

German Chancellor Merkel welcomes Czech Prime Minister Babis in Berlin

German Chancellor Merkel welcomes Czech Prime Minister Babis in Berlin

The Czech government stands behind Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis said on Thursday.

Reuters quoted him as saying in the same interview that the Hungarian government will on Monday decide on the legal steps it will take to counter the European Parliament's decision to launch a punitive procedure against Budapest for disparaging democratic EU standards.

The lawmakers voted 448-197 in favor of a report recommending a so-called Article 7 procedure, which could lead to the suspension of Hungary's European Union voting rights.

If approved, the motion would go to the EU's national leaders, theoretically opening the way for sanctions such as a suspension of Hungary's voting rights in the bloc.

The gravity of the measure was reflected in the supermajority necessary to pass it onward to European Union for further study.

"This decision condemning Hungary and the Hungarian people was made because we Hungarians have demonstrated that migration in not a necessary process and that migration can be stopped", Szijjarto told reporters in Budapest.

The motion was passed with 448 votes for and 197 against, with 48 abstentions.

Orban has said the mostly Muslim refugees pose an existential threat to Europe's Christian civilisation.

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Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban addresses MEPs during a debate on the situation in Hungary at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, September 11, 2018.

"Hungary will not accede to this blackmailing". He cracked down on media freedoms, rewrote laws to favor his center-right Fidesz party, and has blasted Brussels for allowing a wave of more than 1 million migrants into Europe in 2015.

Along the way, Orban has been shielded by his alliance with fellow center-right European leaders as part of the European People's Party, an arrangement that gives them control of the European Parliament and, other leaders have said, more sway over his moves at home. "And we should not have any illusions, they will let in the migrants".

'The alt-right in Europe is trying to undermine this European Union.' within.'

The parties of Kurz and Orban both belong to the biggest faction in the European Parliament, the conservative European People's Party (EPP), which also includes lawmakers from the party of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Poland has already indicated it would veto sanctions against Hungary.

Wednesday's vote is the first time the European Parliament has voted to take such action against a member state under EU rules.

"The agreement of CEU with another U.S. university does not mean that there is a school there", Szijjarto said, referring to a controversial amendment made in the education law previous year, which required the university to also offer courses in the United States. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall.

"This is a historic result for Hungarian citizens and for European citizens everywhere, that the European Parliament has voted by a large majority to stand up for the values we all hold dear", Ms Sargentini said.

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