EU considers suspending one country's voting rights to approve Ukraine aid package

Written by Jeppe W

Dec.19 - 2023 7:25 AM CET

Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com

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The European Union is contemplating invoking Article 7 of the EU Treaty against Hungary, which could lead to the suspension of Budapest's voting rights. This measure is being considered to ensure the passage of a new 50-billion-euro (approximately $55 billion) aid package for Ukraine, as reported by The Financial Times.

The proposal to invoke Article 7 arises from the need to circumvent potential blocks by any single EU member state. With recent parliamentary elections in Poland bringing the country's liberal opposition to power, Hungary, led by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, no longer has a steadfast ally in the bloc to protect its interests.

Some EU countries, however, are hesitant to employ what is often referred to as “the EU's biggest weapon against a member state.” Instead, they prefer to persuade Orbán to voluntarily approve the Ukraine aid. They aim to do this by making the consequences of Hungary's isolation within the EU explicitly clear to its leadership.

An alternative solution being discussed is for the rest of the EU's member states to reach an agreement to provide aid to Ukraine without Hungary's involvement. However, The Financial Times notes that this approach might only serve as a short-term solution to the ongoing issue.

The discussion of such measures highlights the complexity and urgency of the situation regarding support for Ukraine, as well as the internal dynamics and challenges faced by the EU in reaching consensus on critical matters.

The potential use of Article 7 against Hungary underscores the severity with which some EU members view the need to support Ukraine and the lengths they are willing to go to ensure aid is provided.

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