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European Parliament sanctions Hungary and Poland in midst of humanitarian crisis

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Hungary/Poland – By Thursday, 10 March, the war in Ukraine had been going on for a fortnight. Hungary and Poland found themselves on the front lines of a massive influx of Ukrainian refugees, and had already taken in more than 1.5 million of them. On that day, the European Parliament could find nothing better to do than to demand (by 478 votes to 155) sanctions against these two Central European countries.

The EP wants the “rule of law” mechanism to be implemented quickly

In its press release, the European Parliament explained: “MEPs welcomed the European Court of Justice’s recent judgement dismissing the actions by Hungary and Poland against the Rule of Law Conditionality Regulation, ,

as well as the Court’s conclusions that the regulation is in line with EU law and its powers as regards rule of law.

They stressed “that it is ‘high time’ for the Commission to fulfil its duties as the guardian of the EU Treaties and react to the ongoing violations of the principles of the rule of law in some EU member states, which pose a danger to the European Union’s financial interests.” Finally, the MEPs insisted “that taxpayers’ money needs to be protected against those who undermine the EU’s values”.

Ideological sanctions

Following the ECJ’s ruling which dismissed Hungary and Poland’s actions against the so-called “rule of law” mechanism, the EU authorities will be able, in practice, to cut off EU subsidies to any member state whose policies do not match the European Commission or the European Parliament’s ideological orientations. For years, the two countries that have been in Brussels’ crosshairs most often are Hungary and Poland, whose conservative governments are opposed to the LGBT and pro-immigration lobbies’ agendas.