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Article 7: EU grills Hungary over rule of law concerns

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By Sandor Zsiros
Article 7: EU grills Hungary over rule of law concerns
Copyright  MTI/EPA/Olivier Hoslet

More hearings are needed.

That was the conclusion after a preliminary hearing about Hungarian democracy - the first step the in the EU's rule of law mechanism - the so-called Article 7 process.

"In general terms, I would say that today showed that there is a willingness on the side of the member states to ask questions very precisely and on the side of the Hungarian authorities to try to provide the answers. But as I said, it is a complex matter, you can not solve, can not be exhaustive in one hearing only," Frans Timmermans, vice-president, European Commission.

Hungary's government has been criticised by MEPs for breaching EU values - such as having democratic institutions and freedom of thought. Claims that the government of Viktor Orban strongly denies.

"We are hearing the well known baseless lying accusations from the pro- immigration liberal elite. And that is echoed by the liberal Western European media. At the hearing today and last week, when we distrubuted our written material for the member states, we rebutted all the accusations, one by one," Judit Varga, Hungarian justice minister told reporters.

Hungary would only allow to experts of member states to investigate its state of democracy, but not for EU specialists in Brussels.