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Hungarian MEPs Defy European People’s Party In Support Of Poland

By Ferenc Sullivan // 2016.04.14.

Hungarian MEPs for the ruling centre-right Fidesz have defied the European People’s Party to vote against an European Parliament resolution condemning Poland’s conservative government for its alleged anti-democratic measures.

Out of the 194 MEPs belonging to the European People’s Party, only 15 representatives voted against the declaration, including the eleven MEPs for Hungary’s governing centre-right Fidesz, who voted against the draft upon the request of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.

The resolution, which was adopted on Wednesday with an overwhelming majority, voices concern at the political deadlock in Poland over its Constitutional Tribunal, and warning the crisis could endanger the rule of law, democracy and human rights. The draft resolution was drawn up by the largest group in the European Parliament – the European People’s Party (EPP) – together with Socialists, the Liberals, Greens and left-wingers. The resolution warns that Poland should end the current stalemate over the Constitutional Tribunal in line with recommendations of the Venice Commission, the legal watchdog of rights body the Council of Europe. If Poland’s governing conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party does not comply with the recommendations, the European Commission will be forced to move to the second stage of a so-called rule of law procedure, which “shall clarify whether there is a systemic threat to democratic values and the rule of law in Poland”, Politico quoted the draft resolution as saying.

In reaction to the resolution being adopted,  Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydło told national broadcaster TVP that “this is not a resolution against Beata Szydło, against the government, but a resolution against the Polish state.” She argued that the matter is “a strictly internal affair” and blamed opposition MPs for allegedly exporting the problem. She likewise stated that rather than concerning itself with Polish affairs, the EU should supposedly be addressing other matters. “The European Parliament really has a lot of serious problems which it should be dealing with,” she said, mentioning the refugee crisis.

The non-binding resolution was adopted with 513 votes in support, 142 against and 30 absentions.

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photo: István Juhász/