Brussels has begun legal proceedings against Hungary which aim to force it to undo changes to its controversial new constitution.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government has come under heavy fire both at home and abroad for a series of reforms that opponents describe as anti-democratic.
The EU Commission said changes, especially concerning the judiciary, data protection and the central bank, violated EU law.
‘‘The decisions we have taken today are a reflection of our determination to make sure that EU law, both in letter and in spirit are fully respected and a stable legal environment exists in all of our member states,’‘ said EU Commission President José Manuel Barroso.
The start of the infringement proceeding means Hungary must modify the controversial laws or face lengthy legal action in the European Court of Justice.
The IMF has also said Hungary needs the EU’s blessing before stalled talks on a new financial rescue package can resume.
Despite Orban dismissing the criticisms at home as politically motivated, in recent weeks Budapest has shown signs it may be willing to compromise on certain elements of the new laws.