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MEP: FIDESZ BACKS SPEEDING UP ARTICLE 7 PROCEDURE

 

Hungary’s ruling Fidesz party and its government support speeding up the European Union’s Article 7 procedure against the country, Fidesz MEP Balázs Hidvéghi said, reacting to a letter urging the European Council to step up the procedure, signed by the leaders of five European parliamentary party groups. The letter was sent to European Council head Charles Michel. Manfred Weber, the head of Fidesz’s party family, the European People’s Party (EPP), was among the signatories. Hidvéghi said that the party’s MEPs have earlier called for a speedy conclusion of the procedure, which he called a “political witch hunt”. Fidesz is ready to face all hearings and reviews but rejects double standards, Hidvéghi added. On the other hand, Fidesz rejects the letter’s other demand to involve the European Parliament in the procedure, Hidvéghi said. Such a step would be “uncalled for and against the [Lisbon] European Treaty”, he said, as the EP’s role ended with voting on the report of Green MEP Judith Sargentini in September 2018 which led to launching the procedure. Hidvéghi insisted the proposal was part of a long-standing aim of the EP to expand its authority, and said the procedure was politically biased. The letter is also part of a “pro-migration effort” to keep anti-migration countries such as Hungary under constant pressure, Hidvéghi said. He also noted that the EPP, where Fidesz’s membership was suspended last March, is divided in its support of the procedure against Hungary concerning the state of the rule of law in the country, and another procedure against Poland, reviewing the independence of the judiciary.