On the eve of the EU General Affairs Council, European Parliament leaders, at the initiative of the S&D Group president Iratxe García Pérez, sent a letter to the European Council president and the Croatian presidency expressing deep concerns over the serious lack of progress in Article 7 proceedings against Poland and Hungary. Despite the alarming situation in both countries and repeated calls for action, the crucial issue of the rule of law in Poland and Hungary is not even foreseen for discussion in Tuesday’s meeting of the EU affairs ministers.
Iratxe García, S&D Group president, said:
“In the last few years, the nationalist-minded PiS and Fidesz governments have put in place a series of reforms – taking control of the judiciary and public media - that are drastically changing the democratic character of Poland and Hungary. There is no more time to lose. Despite the launch of Article 7 proceedings, we’ve seen no progress. While the Council contents itself with irregular hearings, without the European Parliament even being invited, both Kaczynski and Orbán continue to push the boundaries when it comes to undermining democracy, rule of law and fundamental rights.
“Let’s face it: the Article 7 procedure has so far not worked. It is time for the European Council to act to defend the European project of a Union built on common, liberal values! For the sake of Polish and Hungarian citizens, these fundamental democratic principles must be protected.
“The S&D Group is also pushing for a new EU mechanism on democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights to assess the situation in all member states on an annual, independent basis with specific recommendations for action and with potential budgetary consequences.”