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 Full text 
Wednesday, 12 September 2018 - Strasbourg Revised edition

The situation in Hungary (A8-0250/2018 - Judith Sargentini)

  Jonathan Arnott (EFDD). – Mr President, the decision to invoke Article 7 against a nation is one of the most solemn that this Parliament could take. It should be greeted accordingly, not with standing ovations. We were being asked, as MEPs, to sit in judgment on an entire nation and its laws. In such situations, irrespective of anything else, the bar must be set very high indeed, and the inclusion of questions such as health and safety, or gender studies courses at university, implies the wrong approach.

There are indeed aspects of Hungary’s policies on the media and independent judiciary which should well be criticised. But fundamentally, there is the question of whether the European Union should override national sovereignty. Those who support the Treaties may well believe it should but the tone of debate is wrong.

Finally, Hungary seems to have been singled out for political reasons. Similar cases could have been made against other nations and yet they are not. Mr President, I opposed invoking Article 7 because this is not the right way to do it, because it has become politicised and because of the precedent it would set.

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