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Hungary and COVID-19: debate on fundamental EU values under threat 

On Wednesday evening, MEPs will discuss the COVID-19 emergency measures in Hungary and their impact on democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights.

The state of democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights in Hungary, especially in relation to the government’s recently increased powers under pandemic-related measures, will be discussed with the Council and Commission Vice-President Věra Jourová on Wednesday evening.

In its resolution of 17 April, Parliament highlighted that all COVID-related measures “must be in line with the rule of law, strictly proportionate [...], clearly related to the ongoing health crisis, limited in time and subjected to regular scrutiny.”

Decisions in Hungary to prolong the state of emergency indefinitely, to authorise the government to rule by decree, and to weaken the Parliament’s oversight, are “totally incompatible with European values”, says the resolution. MEPs called on the Commission to make full use of all available EU tools and sanctions to address this serious and persistent breach, including budgetary ones, and urged the Council to put back on its agenda the ongoing Article 7 procedure against Hungary.

Council and Commission statements

Debate: Wednesday, 13 May