EU leaders must do more to save rule of law in Hungary, says MEP

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Judith Sargentini of Dutch Greens says situation has got worse since her report last year

European Union leaders are failing to act despite the “worsening” outlook for the rule of law in Hungary, according to a leading MEP.

Judith Sargentini, a Dutch MEP whose report triggered the EU’s most serious disciplinary procedure against Hungary last September, called on the Council of EU member states to start “a real process” that would examine the rule of law in that country.

“Since the vote on my report in September things in Hungary actually only got worse,” said the Green MEP.

Since MEPs voted to trigger action from EU member states, she said the Central European University had moved to Vienna and the government had created a new court that will be subject to ministerial control.

She also listed the decision to award refugee status to a former Macedonian prime minister convicted of corruption, the “slave law” on overtime, which has brought Hungarians on to the streets, as well as the merger of 450 media outlets without authorities being able to make usual checks.

The MEP called on Romania, which is chairing the EU rotating presidency, to produce a timetable for examining the rule of law in Hungary, as she accused Budapest of stalling the process. “Hungarian citizens have the right for protection and have the right to know what you are planning to do.”

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