The European Parliament adopted a resolution condemning a ‘serious deterioration’ in the rule of law and fundamental rights in Hungary. EU Parliament vote on Wednesday could lead to sanctions being imposed on the government in Budapest.
393 deputies voted in favor of the resolution, with 221 against.
“Recent developments in Hungary have led to a serious deterioration in the rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights which is testing the EU’s ability to defend its founding values,” the EU parliament said in a statement.
The EU parliament also called the EU Commission to strictly monitor Hungary’s use of EU funds.
Hungary’s conservative government led by Viktor Orban’s Fidesz party proposed a new higher education law that was widely perceived as an attack on Budapest-based Central European University (CEU) founded by U.S. billionaire George Soros.
Orban’s opponents at home and abroad believe that the new legislation will threaten the existence of the CEU, as the university will be unable to receive new students.
In response to the legislation, the EU has started a separate legal actions against Hungary. The resolution adopted in the EU parliament on Wednesday called Budapest to reach an agreement with U.S. authorities that would enable the Budapest-based Central European University (CEU) to continue to operate.
Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto dismissed the EU Parliament resolution, calling it a “new attack on Hungary by George Soros’ network.”
“European institutions are clearly unable to accept the fact that… the government of Hungary is continuing to practice a migration policy that is exclusively aimed at ensuring the security of Hungary,” Szijjarto said.
Orban’s government has openly accused Soros of undermining Hungary by opposing country’s strict immigration laws through its civil society organizations. Orban, who received a scholarship from Soros Foundation to study at Pembroke College, Oxford, has become a bitter opponent of Soros, whom he accused of influencing Hungarian and European politics.