Poland to not support European Union sanctions against Hungary

The government has been accused of running into the arms of Hungary after alienating its European allies

The proposal concerning Hungary, which MEPs vote on 12 September, would be the first time that Parliament takes the initiative of recommending that the mechanism should be triggered.

Following the passage of the law, which many in Hungary saw as part of the government's wider crackdown on dissent, the Budapest-based University began holding classes in the U.S. in partnership with New York's Bard College earlier this year.

Hungary said it would seek legal ways to challenge the 448-197 vote it described as "petty revenge".

If also approved by national leaders, Hungary could face punitive measures.

Losing voting rights in the European Council would ultimately hurt Hungary, rather than the government, but if the Article 7 procedure is launched it would be "Viktor Orbán's responsibility alone", Green opposition party LMP said. Mr. Orban's government introduced a law that criminalised representation of asylum seekers by lawyers and activists with accusations of silencing independent media and curtailing academic freedom also been levelled against him.

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After the vote, MEPs welcomed the adoption of the report and Sargentini with a standing ovation.

Ms Sargentini's report into Hungary's ruling Fidesz party alleged such actions were "a clear breach of the values of our union".

Strasbourg, Sep 13 (UNI) The European Parliament has voted to trigger Article 7 sanctions procedure against Hungary.

But it has created a split within the EPP because Forza Italia, some Bulgarians, a few Germans and assorted others gave their backing to Budapest. The report accuses the Hungarian government of eroding democracy and failing to uphold fundamental European Union values. They strongly deny it was to secure Hungary's support in the Brexit process or out of admiration for the country's leader.

It added: "Each EU Member State has a sovereign right to carry out the internal reforms that it considers appropriate".

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The European Commission initiated similar proceedings against Warsaw in December and three months later the Hungarian parliament adopted a resolution supporting Warsaw in its fight against the bloc, saying the commission does not have "the right to meddle" in the domestic affairs of member states and that it was "unjustified" in initiating Article 7 proceedings. The case has yet to reach the European Parliament.

Even Orban's fellow migration hardliner, Austria's Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, unexpectedly said his party's five European lawmakers would vote against Budapest.

Orban, who has been elected four times and now presides over what is effectively a one-party state, has been a thorn in the side of European Union leaders since he came back to office in 2010. Britain's Nigel Farage, a pro-Brexit MEP, wrote that the decision demonstrated "the authoritarian grip of the EU". The EU country concerned does not take part in either vote.

"Hungary shall continue to defend its borders, stop illegal immigration and defend its rights - against you, too, if necessary", he said, drawing applause from the eurosceptic, far-right lawmakers in the assembly.

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