Will EU parliament discipline Hungary?

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By Sandor Zsiros  & Damon Embling
Will EU parliament discipline Hungary?

Will Hungary be slapped down by the European parliament? A tight vote's expected next week on whether a disciplinary process - known as Article 7 - should be launched against Budapest.

A report accuses Hungary of breaching EU law - and could ultimately be stripped of its voting rights.

"I think its going to be a very tight vote, two-third majority is a lot. But I know that the majority of the parliament supports the report that I have written, and that was agreed upon at the Civil Liberties Committee. So we will have to see," said Judith Sargentini, European Parliament Rapporteur.

"But the message is there: Things are going wrong in Hungary and Hungarian citizens are entitled to democracy and rule of law like every other European citizen."

The report talks of curbs on freedom of expression, erosion of judicial independence and treatment of asylum seekers as being a "systemic threat to democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights."

Sargentini added: "I don't think that it's democratic to misuse European funds and enrich your family. I don't think it is democratic to close newspapers overnight. And I do think Hungarians want to be part of Europe and they want to read independent media."

Hungary rejects the report, describing it as a pack of lies and a "political tool, in a political campaign."

Now EU politicians will need to decide who's telling the truth.