The Article 7 club has a new member: Hungary. For those with better things to do with their time than study EU regulations, Article 7 of the Lisbon Treaty sets out a procedure for revoking the voting rights of an EU member state if it breaches EU values. The European Parliament started that procedure on Wednesday, with a vote of 448-197, saying Hungary was guilty of disrespecting “democracy, equality, the rule of law, and human rights,” according to a press release. Next it’s up to the European Council, comprising heads of state and government, to decide whether it agrees and to recommend certain actions by the member state. The process keeps going from there. The European Commission invoked Article 7 for the first time in EU history last December against Poland for judicial reforms that violated the rule of law in that country. A lot has to happen before Hungary actually loses voting rights, and it is all but impossible in the current environment anyway – it requires a unanimous
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