Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
As I wrote at the time, not much has happened.

One of the main limitations of Article 7, if I understand correctly, is the requirement for unanimity in the Council (minus the accused country). This means that Poland can block Article 7 proceedings against Hungary and vice versa.

From the Politico.eu article I quoted back then:

"Article 7 is meant to re-establish the conditions for a dialogue," said a senior official from a Western European country. "The goal is not sanctions, the goal is to bring them back to practices that are tolerable."

The leaders of all EU governments (except Hungary) would need to vote in favor of a "serious and persistent breach" in order for the process to reach the next stage. That's a very high bar. Hungary has already said it would block any such step against Poland and it seems very likely that Warsaw would return the favor. Other EU governments that have come under fire for their democratic and human rights standards would also be very wary of setting a precedent that could be dangerous for them.

The final stage of the Article 7 process, a vote to suspend a country's voting rights, requires only a qualified majority (55 percent of EU countries, comprising at least 65 percent of the EU's population -- all minus the accused country, of course). But to get to this point, the Council would have to have agreed unanimously at the previous stage.

But let's not forget that the EPP, of which Fidesz is still a member, albeit a suspended one, has been reluctant to formally expel Orban.
by Bernard on Mon Apr 6th, 2020 at 05:13:57 PM EST
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