Hungary to take legal steps against critical EU ruling -PM Orban

Hungary to take legal steps against critical EU ruling - PM Orban

Hungary to explore legal steps to challenge critical EU ruling

Accusing German Chancellor Angela Merkel of wanting to replace Hungarian border-guards with "mercenaries sent from Brussels", Orban said "the next battle" will concern member states' right to defend their own borders.

"We will veto the decision if it comes to sanctions", Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz told reporters in Lithuania on Thursday.

He also claimed that the vote involved "massive fraud" since abstentions weren't counted into the final tally, which made it easier to reach the needed majority. But it was still unclear whether the 751-strong would be able to muster the two-thirds majority needed to pass the censure motion, which accuses of breaching core European Union values.

Critics say Hungary's electoral system favors the governing parties; media freedoms and judicial independence are dwindling; corruption and the enrichment of Orban allies with European Union and state funds are on the rise; asylum seekers and refugees are mistreated; and there are efforts to limit the activities of nongovernmental organizations. Szijjarto said Hungary was considering legal options to appeal the result.

After the vote, MEPs welcomed the adoption of the report and Sargentini with a standing ovation. "They deserve freedom of speech, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice and equality, all of which are enshrined in the European treaties".

"If there isn't a clear signal from the European Parliament, then we have a very tough few months ahead of us, " said Marta Pardavi, co-chair of the Budapest-based Hungarian Helsinki Committee.

Dutch lawmaker Sophie in 't Veld urged the EU to consider cutting generous subsidies to Hungary, asking: "Why are we giving Mr Orban 87 million euros a week in order to destroy the European Union?" We'll speak with Mounk about the parliament's decision and how right-wing coalitions are shaping Europe.

On Wednesday, the European Parliament voted to initiate Article 7 procedures against Hungary with 448 votes in favour and 197 against. The report accuses the Hungarian government of eroding democracy and failing to uphold fundamental European Union values.

Grabbe's organization is part of the Open Society Foundations set up by Hungarian-American billionaire and philanthropist George Soros, an ideological opponent of Orban and blamed by the Hungarian leader, along with the NGOs Soros supports, for promoting mass immigration into Europe.

Responding to the minister's remarks, the CEU issued a statement on Thursday reiterating that it has "always conformed to the Hungarian laws, and now fulfils the requirements of the Hungarian legislation on higher education" passed in March 2017. She expected, however, that she would be invited to a European Council summit to present her report.

Since sweeping to power in 2010, Orban has pressured Hungary's courts, media and, as well as refusing to take in asylum seekers arriving in Europe.

Opposition to Orban's vision does not just come from the left, with disquiet also in the main center-right parliamentary group, the European People's Party (EPP).

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