Fri Sep 16th, 2022 at 03:52:18 AM EST
Since his election in 2010, Viktor Orbán has shifted Hungary sharply away from democracy and the rule of law, changing the constitution to stack the electoral system and the courts against his opponents, while dismantling the independent media. And now, the European Parliament has recognised the truth: that one of its members is no longer a democracy:
Hungary can no longer be considered a full democracy, the European parliament has said in a powerful symbolic vote against Viktor Orbán's government.
In a resolution backed by 81% of MEPs present to vote, the parliament stated that Hungary had become a "hybrid regime of electoral autocracy", citing a breakdown in democracy, fundamental rights and the rule of law.
While the vote has no practical effect, it heightens pressure on EU authorities in Brussels not to disburse billions in EU cash to Hungary that is being withheld over concerns about corruption.
Democracy is supposed to be a foundation of the EU, and its appalling that Hungary has been allowed to diverge this far from European principles before the Parliament has stepped in. And along with Poland, it shows that the EU needs effective mechanisms to sanction its own members to ensure their conformity with European law.