European Parliament: Hungary no longer a full democracy

The European Parliament has adopted a report that declared Hungary to be no longer a democracy.

Key facts

  • The European Parliament has recently adopted a parliamentary report that declared Hungary to be “a hybrid regime of electoral autocracy”.
  • It concluded that the European values are currently under threat in Hungary and thus, it is no longer a democratic country.
  • The recent motion at the European Parliament is symbolic disapproval from the EU towards Hungary, that has witnessed years of opprobrium over the rule-of-law issues under the regime of the current populist Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
  • However, this adoption may not lead to any specific punishment targeting Hungary.
  • The recently adopted report listed a range of concerns about the country’s electoral system, judicial independence, academic and religious freedom and the overall rights of the vulnerable population.
  • In 2018, the European Parliament had launched a procedure against the risk posed by Hungary to EU’s democratic values.
  • In theory, this mechanism could result in Hungary losing its right to vote in the EU Council, where the critical decision-making takes place for the European bloc.
  • However, it requires action from rest of the 26 EU members, who have shown little interest in antagonizing Hungary.
  • The EU countries are wary of such a move since Hungary’s approval is critical for major decisions.
  • Hungary is currently having close ties with Russia and it is involved in blocking further European sanctions on Moscow for its involvement in Ukraine crisis.
  • The European parliament’s recognition of Hungary as electoral autocracy comes based reports from bodies belonging to the Council of Europe as well as case law from the EU’s court of justice and others.
  • The verdict by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) was also cited for this conclusion.
  • In April 2022, the OSCE held that Hungary’s election that returned Orban to power for the fourth consecutive term was tainted by the lack of level playing field.
  • It had sent a full-fledged mission to Hungary, an almost unprecedented step for an EU member state.




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