EU parliament trying to block Hungary from holding EU council presidency in 2024

FILE - European parliament members meet in a plenary session on Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022, in Strasbourg, eastern France. (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias, File)
By Dénes Albert
3 Min Read

The European Parliament (EP) is set to adopt a new resolution on the rule of law in Hungary and the freezing of EU funds at its plenary session on June 1, opposition news portal Népszava reports after having seen the draft.

The draft five-party resolution questions whether Hungary will be able to credibly hold the EU Council presidency in 2024 while violating the EU’s core values and failing to abide by the principle of loyal cooperation.

The European Parliament therefore calls on the European Council to find a solution to the problem, otherwise the bloc’s parliament will intervene. This is the first time that the EU parliament has attempted to block the Orbán government from running the EU27 decision-making body.

The various countries of the EU rotate the council presidency position every six months, with Hungary set to hold the position for six months from July next year. The rotating presidency coordinates the institution’s legislative activities and represents it in its relations with other EU bodies.

Hungary first held the presidency of the European Union in the first half of 2011, during the second Orbán government.

In response to the news, Hungarian Justice Minister Judit Varga wrote in a Facebook post that “we will not let such an opportunity be taken away from Hungary!”

“The decision on who will hold the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union was taken by unanimous decision of the Council. The European Parliament was not dealt a hand on this issue. Of those who were dealt a hand, no one thought that Hungary should not take up its rightful post. We are in daily contact with the General Secretariat of the Council, and we are preparing for the task,” she added.

“The EU presidency is an excellent opportunity not only to make our country and its position even better known in the member states of the European Union, but also to shape the future of Europe. In this context, the Hungarian presidency will have three main priorities: demography, competitiveness and the future of cohesion policy.”

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