In the past four years, the Hungarian government has stepped up its efforts to undermine the EU’s core values, states the European Parliament’s latest draft report as reported by Népszava.
The proposal, which is about to come to a committee vote, was prepared by Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield from the French Green Party and can be considered an update of the 2018 Sargentini report. Delbos-Corfield visited Hungary at the head of a European Parliament delegation last year, and determined that the 2022 elections could not truly be fair.
Based primarily on accounts from international and European institutions, the report covers the operation of the constitutional system, the independence of the judiciary, corruption, data protection, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, academic and religious freedom, the right to equal treatment, the rights of asylum seekers, minorities, and migrants, as well as economic and social rights, writes Népszava.
Four years ago, the Sargentini report also identified problems in these areas.
The European Parliament (EP) adopted Judith Sargentini’s document by a two-thirds margin on September 12, 2018, after which an Article 7 procedure against Hungary was launched to determine whether a systemic threat to the rule of law existed in the country. The Hungarian government claimed that the vote in the EP was improper, but the European Court of Justice rejected this claim.
According to Népszava, the current proposal would ask the European Council, composed of the leaders of EU Member States, to take the latest developments into account and speed up the previously-initiated procedure.
The latest report details developments over the last four years, such as the open-ended extension of the state of emergency, the use of the Pegasus spyware on journalists and opposition figures, the election of the president of the Curia, the pro-government KESMA media empire, limiting the autonomy of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the University of Theater and Film, and pressure applied to independent NGOs.
The report is expected to be submitted to the European Parliament in September.