European Parliament votes in favor of disciplinary action against Hungary
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban reacts during a speech at the plenary session at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, Sept. 11, 2018. EPA-EFE/PATRICK SEEGER
Rapporteur Judith Sargentini is congratulated after members of the European Parliament took part in a vote on the situation in Hungary during a voting session at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, Sept. 12, 2018. EPA-EFE/PATRICK SEEGER
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban holds a document of the Motion For a European Parliament Resuolution, Article 7 during his speech at the plenary session at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, Sept. 11, 2018. EPA-EFE/PATRICK SEEGER
Strasbourg (France), Sep 12 (efe-epa).- The European Parliament on Wednesday voted in favor of kick-starting disciplinary action against Hungary that could see some of the central European nation's voting rights restricted for failing to abide by European Union core values.
Lawmakers in Strasbourg voted 448 to 197 in favor of triggering the hitherto dormant Article 7 of the Treaty on European Union, which could punish Prime Minister Viktor Orban's nationalist government should the decision be adopted by EU leaders at the Council.
Budapest and Brussels have been at loggerheads since Orban's government took measures to block migrant entries into the nation at a time when all EU member states were obligated to meet migrant quotas.
Orban's government has also been the target of sharp criticism for its perceived clampdown on civil liberties and his campaign against Hungarian-American billionaire philanthropist George Soros, whom the PM has accused of using NGOs and activist groups to orchestrate mass migration into Hungary.
In a video message to supporters on social media Tuesday before taking part in a plenary debate at the Parliament, the nationalist-populist said he would defend the rights of Hungarians who did not want Hungary to become "an immigrant country."