MEPs want EU to watch out for rights abuses in Hungary

Access to the comments Comments
By Euronews
MEPs want EU to watch out for rights abuses in Hungary

Hungary should be monitored for abuses of human rights and the rule of law, MEPs said in a motion passed on Wednesday.

They said the European Commission should “immediately initiate an in-depth monitoring process” in Hungary and to report back before September.

The non-binding resolution passed 362 votes to 247, with 88 abstentions, but it reflects a growing agitation amongst some lawmakers over Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s leadership.

Orban recently floated the idea of debating whether Hungary should bring back the death penalty; capital punishment was abolished in the country after the fall of communism more than two decades ago.

His Fidesz party is a member of the centre-right EPP Group in the European Parliament, which has so far refused to condemn the Hungarian governments.

“It’s a very strong message, because in fact it shows that a majority of this parliament is completely against the attitude and behaviour of Mr. Orban,” said Belgian MEP Louis Michael, a former European commissioner.

“We are very shocked that and I am really surprised that the EPP, a very important party in this parliament is continuing systematically backing Mr. Orban.”

The resolution drew a swift rebuke from Orban loyalists in Strasbourg, France, the second seat of the EU’s only-directly elected assembly.

“About the death penalty, it is clear. It does not exists, it’s only a debate. There is no intention to apply capital punishment,” said György Hölvényi, an MEP and Fidesz member, in an interview with euronews.

“But the main thing is: if they would investigate all the 28 member states in such a deep way, Europe would be a better place.”

The Council of Europe, a non-EU body that monitors human rights on the continent, said on Tuesday that Hungary should do more to crack down on racism.