On 12 September, the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favour of asking EU Member States to determine, in accordance with Treaty Article 7, whether Hungary is at risk of breaching the EU´s founding values. This is the first time that Parliament has used this procedure to call on the EU Council to act to protect the EU values as set out in Article 2 of the Treaty on the European Union – including respect of democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights.

In the next step, the EU Council will review Parliament’s proposal and determine whether there are grounds to conclude that Hungary is in serious breach of EU values. Ultimately, the process could lead to sanctions such as suspension of Hungary’s voting rights. In the meantime, the Commission is considering whether to bring Poland to the European Court for rule of law infringements following its reasoned opinion issued in August. And on 17 September, the European Network of Councils for the Judiciary (ENCJ) decided to suspend Poland’s membership on the basis that the Polish Council is no longer independent.

For more information, please contact the secretariat here.