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or for the EU to sanction (and ultimately eject) members who depart from those principles

Unfortunately, the EU has no mechanism to expel misbehaving members against their will. Article 50 must be invoked by a member state - won't happen with Hungary, one of the largest net receivers of the EU budget.

The unanimity rule also allows member states to block important decisions and Orbán has known how to use this to deflect any threats to his gravy train.

Article 7 is also mostly toothless: it needs unanimity of all member states minus the accused one; so far Poland has been blocking actions against Hungary and vice versa. Interestingly enough, their diverging stance on Ukraine, to put it mildly, may end this de facto illiberal alliance. We'll see.

Things are still moving against Hungary, but at a glacial pace.

by Bernard (bernard) on Mon Sep 19th, 2022 at 05:16:07 PM EST
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