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The European Parliament on Thursday passed a resolution condemning what it calls “deliberate and systematic efforts” to undermine EU values in Hungary, and expressing concern over Hungary taking over the bloc’s rotating presidency in the second half of 2024. In the resolution adopted with 442 votes in favour, 144 against and 33 abstentions, EU lawmakers call into question how Hungary would be able to credibly fulfil its role as president of the Council of the European Union next year. The EP emphasised the importance of the role of the Council president in “driving forward the Council’s work on EU legislation, ensuring the continuity of the EU agenda and representing the Council in relations with the other EU institutions”. According to the resolution, the EP “questions how Hungary will be able to credibly fulfil this task in 2024, in view of its non-compliance with EU law and the values … as well as the principle of sincere cooperation”. The assembly therefore asks the Council “to find a proper solution as soon as possible”, and noted that the EP “could take appropriate measures if such a solution is not found”.
EU lawmakers also expressed their concern over the situation of EU values in Hungary, which they said had continued to deteriorate despite the EP launching the Article 7 procedure against the country. The resolution condemns the government’s “anti-EU communication campaigns” which the EP said was “part of the government’s strategy to divert attention from its non-compliance with EU values and systemic corruption in the country”. In view of the 2024 European parliamentary and local elections, MEPs called on the Hungarian government to bring its conduct of elections in line with international standards. The document calls attention to “reports about intimidation methods, such as visits by the secret police to some companies’ offices, and other forms of pressure being used by certain individuals known to be linked to the Prime Minister’s close circle or office”, which it said were aimed at “bringing those parts of the Hungarian industry deemed to be ‘strategic’ under their control”. The EP also expressed concern over frozen EU funds and the delay in the relevant reforms.