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It is the first time that the parliament has launched the EU's disciplinary process against a member state, known as Article 7, and it exposes the deep unease in parts of the Europe about the policies pursued by the country's hardline prime minister Viktor Orban.

This move marked the first time that Article 7 of the European Union constitution has been triggered, which can suspend certain rights of a state, Al Jazeera noted, adding that the vote may lead to Hungary's voting rights being stripped. The European Commission launched Article 7 proceedings against Poland in 2017 over its judicial reforms.

But it was still unclear whether the 751-strong European Parliament would be able to muster the two-thirds majority needed to pass the censure motion, which accuses Hungary of breaching core EU values. 'Orban is a hero and deserves the Nobel Prize, ' he said.

Orban has for years deflected much of the global condemnation of Hungary's electoral system, media freedoms, independence of the judiciary, mistreatment of asylum-seekers and refugees and limits on the functioning of non-governmental organizations.

MEPs were forced into action after Orban's government introduced a popular "Stop Brussels" consultation and accused the European Union of conspiring to promote illegal immigration.

He has also led opposition to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and others who want Europe to take in more Muslim refugees.

Orban said his government had sent all the MEPs an 108-plus page rebuttal of Sargentini's "false" charges.

"I have nothing to compromise about since the questions they objected to were decided by the Hungarian people", Orban said Tuesday in Strasbourg, France, after the debate in the European Parliament on the report on Hungary.

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Dutch lawmaker Sophie in 't Veld urged the EU to consider cutting generous subsidies to Hungary, asking: "Why are we giving Mr Orban 87 million euros a week in order to destroy the European Union?"

Asked about his expectations about the result of Wednesday's vote on the report, Orban said he was sure it would gather the two-thirds support needed for approval and then attempts would be made to expel Fidesz from the EPP.

The motion against Orban's Hungary goes well beyond the migration issue.

MEPs will vote on Wednesday on whether to launch a procedure that could lead to unprecedented political sanctions against Hungary, and deepen the continental divide between centrist pro-European parties and populist anti-migrant forces.

The spokesman added: "We place great value on the importance of the rule of law".

Poland's ruling Law and Justice party, which stands accused of dismantling an independent judiciary at home, will also defend Orban with the 73 votes of its eurosceptic group.

"I reject that the European Parliament's forces supporting immigration and migrants threaten, blackmail and with untrue accusations defame Hungary and the Hungarian people", he said during a feisty speech. The legal service told parliamentary groups earlier this week that abstentions don't count as votes cast based on the treaty.

The EPP's leader Manfred Weber, who announced his bid to run as the group's candidate to be the next European Commission president, is in favour of keeping Fidesz within the fold.


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