Fidesz MEP Tamás Deutsch on Tuesday welcomed a call from Manfred Weber, the head of the European People’s Party (EPP), for the European Council to proceed with the Article 7 procedures against Poland and Hungary. Speaking at a press conference on the sidelines of the European Parliament’s plenary session in Strasbourg, Weber said finding a solution together would serve the shared values of the European Union. He called it scandalous and a breach of European treaties that the European Council is yet to put the procedures on the agenda. He called on Council head Charles Michel to take all necessary steps to close the procedures scrutinising the state of the rule of law in the two countries as soon as possible.
Commenting on Weber’s remarks, Deutsch said on Twitter that the Hungarian government has long been calling for a speedy debate and closure of the procedure. “The witch hunt must be ended,” Deutsch said. The Article 7 procedure, launched against Hungary in September 2018, could eventually strip Hungary of its voting rights in the EU. The procedure focuses on the state of the freedom of speech, corruption, minority rights, the independence of the judiciary and the situation of migrants and asylum seekers in the country. The procedure against Poland was launched in July 2017 and scrutinises the independence of the Polish judiciary.