Hungary: the European Parliament should vote to trigger the Article 7 procedure to defend the rule of law

The ICJ today called on all MEPs to vote in favour of the draft resolution and report by rapporteur Judith Sargentini MEP, before the European Parliament, which would activate Article 7 of the Treaty of the European Union in respect of Hungary. 

A vote for the resolution would mean that, under Article 7.1, the Council would determine whether there is a clear risk of serious breach by Hungary of the founding values of the EU.

Ultimately, if the situation persists, this would allow the Council to take more robust measures, including suspension of voting rights, to address the situation.

The vote, scheduled for 12 September, is crucial for the rule of law in Hungary and throughout the European Union.

The Parliament will vote on whether to activate the process under Article 7, by calling on the Council to identify a risk of serious breach by Hungary of the EU’s founding values, including the rule of law and respect for human rights.

The ICJ considers that the measures put in place by the Hungarian government since 2011 have led to a severe deterioration of the rule of law and human rights, by weakening Constitutional rights protection, limiting judicial independence, suppressing independent media, civil society and academic institutions, and imposing arbitrary laws that violate the human rights of marginalized sections of society.

Cumulatively, these measures pose a grave, systemic threat to the protection of the human rights of all people in Hungary.

“The European Parliament should respond to the critical situation in Hungary by using the powers available to it under Article 7 TEU to defend human rights and the rule of law. Not to do so would be to abandon Hungary to an increasingly dangerous path, and would set a damaging precedent for all of Europe,” said Róisín Pillay, Director of the ICJ Europe Programme.

Read the full statement and key concerns here: Hungary-triggering Art 7-Advocacy-2018-ENG (in PDF)