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Hungary risks its right to vote in the European Union if the aid embargo on Ukraine continues

Hungary risks its right to vote in the European Union if the aid embargo on Ukraine continues

During the European Union summit last December Hungary banned As the only EU country, it decided to create a large support fund for Ukraine worth 50 billion euros until 2027.

Negotiations between the European Union countries and Hungary have been continuing since then with the aim of finding a solution. The aim is to reach a compromise regarding the EU summit being held specially on Thursday next week when the top political leaders of the member states will meet again in Brussels to try to persuade Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban to abandon his veto power.

Frustration among member states has gone so far that it is now common to believe that force will be used against force. Meanwhile, under Viktor Orbán, Hungary has seen a clear deterioration in basic building blocks of democracy such as independent courts, academic freedom, and minority rights.

Article 7

In 2018, the so-called Article 7.1 procedure was initiated against the country. It is the first step in a process that could lead to a Member State seriously and persistently “disregarding the values” of the Union Treaties, and in the long term could lead, among other things, to the abolition of the right to vote.

Many diplomats I am a politician Many Member States were said to be ready to take the next step in Article 7.

– If Orban is indeed obstructing an agreement [Ukrainafonden] An EU diplomat told the newspaper that at the summit in February, it may be appropriate to use Article 7 to deprive Hungary of voting rights.

Another diplomat believes other member states have been drawn into the game by Orban.

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The unnamed diplomat said: “We are losing a bit. We are back in the game of what he wants. Why should we worry about saving someone's face? We have to be a bit stronger.”

Consensus is required

In order to make such a decision, at least nine Member States or the EU Commission – with the support of the EU Parliament – must first submit a proposal to this effect. The proposal must then be approved by all, except Hungary, the senior political leaders of the European Council member states. Only then will it be possible to withdraw Hungarians' right to vote or suspend other rights of the country.

In March, Ukraine is expected to run out of money unless a support fund is created.

Plan B

After failing to persuade Hungary to support the rescue fund in December, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen promised to explore possible options as Orban was no longer able to block them. Such a solution would be a series of bilateral agreements between the 26 EU countries and Hungary, which is extremely cumbersome and complex.

EU countries are currently negotiating with the aim of reaching an agreement within the EU system that everyone can support. According to the information, such plan (B) is not being discussed in the ongoing negotiations between the member states of the Council of Ministers.