The European Parliament passed the report of the LIBE Comittee compiled by Dutch Green MEP Judith Sargentini with 448 for, 197 against and 48 abstentions, news portal Origo writes. After the vote, Szíjjártó said at a press conference that the outcome was the result of trickery in the counting of the vote.
Today’s European Parliament decision was nothing else but the petty revenge of pro-immigration politicians against Hungary,” Szijjarto said. “The decision was made in a fraudulent way, and contrary to relevant rules in European treaties.
The minister was referring to the fact that, prior to the vote, the European Parliament decided not to include abstentions in the tally. With today’s abstentions included in the vote count, the yes side falls 14 votes short of the required two-thirds majority.
Szíjjártó also said Hungary is examining legal options to challenge the measure because the abstentions were not included in the count.
While the measure does not mean immediate sanctions against Hungary, it does open the possibility for such and also means that the country will likely receive a formal warning for violating the EU’s fundamental values.
This was the first case in the history of the European Union that the EP voted on triggering an Article 7 process against a member country. Last year, the European Commission, as the executive arm of the Union, launched Article 7 proceedings against Poland for its judiciary reform.