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Hungary is turning into the biggest existential threat to the EU: there are no mechanisms to expel a EU member country, only Article 50 for those countries who want to leave (see: UK).

But Orban doesn't want to leave, quite the opposite: Hungary is one of the biggest net receivers of EU funds. Orban can run his own private dictatorship and can do it on the EU's dime.

Since coercion procedures such as Article 7 require unanimity in the Council and since the PiS in Poland (the other largest net receiver of EU funds) is pretty much on the same path as Fidesz in Hungary, Poland and Hungary are pretty much covering each other and the EU institutions are essentially powerless.

by Bernard on Wed Apr 1st, 2020 at 06:59:35 PM EST
The one lever the EU have, if they have the balls to use it, is the current budget negotiations. Net contributors to the budget should refuse to agree any new disbursements to Hungary and Poland until such time as their laws are brought into full conformity with EU norms.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Apr 1st, 2020 at 07:15:14 PM EST
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I don't think this is legally possible (to single out specific countries) outside ad hoc procedures like Article 7.

Then again, it will soon become a matter of life and death for the EU. The most pressing danger to EU cohesion right now is the Covid-19 fallout, particularly the "coronabonds" clash.

by Bernard on Wed Apr 1st, 2020 at 08:27:10 PM EST
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The budgetary process is basically horse trading between countries. Other countries can block the process ... No budget means no money for Hungary


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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Apr 1st, 2020 at 08:50:40 PM EST
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