EP draft report sees risk of breach of EU values by Hungary

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kormany.hu/Gergely Botár

A number of MEPs strongly criticized the situation in Hungary at a meeting of the European Parliamentʼs Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) on Thursday. Presenting a draft report, Judith Sargentini of the Greens said LIBE is reviewing the extent to which Hungarians are able to exercise their fundamental rights, and how the state is dealing with its citizens.

There is a clear risk of a serious breach of European Union values by Hungary which justifies the triggering of the Article 7 mechanism, according to a draft report on the country prepared by LIBE, and presented in Brussels on Thursday, Hungarian national news agency MTI reported.

Roberta Metsola of the European Peopleʼs Party (the same grouping to which Hungaryʼs ruling party Fidesz belongs) said a Hungarian bill on NGOs that receive foreign funding - already the subject of ongoing EU infringement proceedings - seriously and disproportionately affects their operations and goes against EU values.

Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó, speaking in Brussels, called the draft report a "collection of patent lies." The document is part of a "show trial," he added, claiming that Hungary has come under fire because the country stands in the way of a "radical pro-migration plan."

The dispute between the Hungarian government and LIBE is expected to continue, Szijjártó told a press conference after the debate on the draft report. He said the government has compiled a "factual refutation" of the allegations contained in the draft report, and has sent it to every MEP.

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