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The vice president of the European Parliament proposes to revoke Hungary's right to vote for having hindered EU sanctions against Russia

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Katarina Barley assures that Budapest has abused the bloc’s unanimity principle and has blackmailed

The vice president of the European Parliament, Katarina Barley, has asked to “temporarily” revoke Hungary’s right to vote in the decision-making of the European Union (EU), reports the newspaper Der Spiegel.

In an interview with the German broadcaster MDR Aktuell, Barley stated that Budapest had abused the bloc’s unanimity principle

—which applies to certain joint decisions of the Member States—and has used it as a means of blackmail. An EU country could be deprived of its right to vote if it violates common democratic principles, explained the MEP.

“Especially in Hungary, you can no longer talk about democratic conditions and the rule of law ,” he stressed.

At the same time, Barley criticized the existence of the EU’s unanimity principle, by which many decisions are made with the approval of all its members, with the disagreement of one country being enough to back down on a proposal. The principle of unanimity comes from “times when the EU was made up of six countries. Now we have 27,” he said.

However, Barley herself recalled that to annul its validity a unanimous decision is required.

Hungary has opposed some clauses of the sixth package of EU sanctions against Russia and has demanded changes. In particular, Budapest has expressed its dissatisfaction with the decisions related to the import embargo on Russian oil, as well as the sanctions against Patriarch Kiril, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, whom Brussels had to remove from its list of sanctioned persons.

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