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EP Drops Rule-Of-Law Lawsuit against Hungary

Mariann Őry 2022.08.03.

The lawsuit aimed at pressuring the European Commission into sanctioning Hungary by triggering the rule-of-law mechanism was quietly dropped.

The European Parliament has withdrawn its lawsuit against the Commission for inaction under the rule-of-law mechanism, Politico reported on Tuesday.

According to the article, the case sought to force the Commission to trigger the rule-of-law mechanism against “countries such as Hungary, Poland or Bulgaria, which were failing to uphold an independent judiciary.” Politico noted that the case rested on fragile legal grounds according to an assessment by Parliament’s own legal service.

The Parliament’s conference of presidents decided in May to drop the case, officials told Politico, after Brussels activated the mechanism against Hungary.” The Court was informed by the European Parliament on May 18, 2022 that it wished to discontinue the action. The Court consequently removed the case from the registry,” a Parliament spokesperson confirmed.

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The original goal of the lawsuit was to pressure the Commission to threaten Hungary with penalties until the government in Budapest yields to its political demands. The Commission refrained from activating the mechanism, because according to a compromise in the Council, it had to wait for the Court’s opinion.

After the Court had given its approval, it did not take long for the Commission to make the next step. President Ursula von der Leyen announced in the European Parliament that they would launch the rule of law conditionality mechanism against Hungary, only two days after the Hungarian parliamentary elections in which the ruling Fidesz-KDNP coalition won its forth two-thirds majority in a row.

Featured photo via the European Parliament

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