European officials are reportedly considering utilizing Article 7 of the 2007 Treaty on the European Union to strip Hungary of its voting rights amid disagreements over a proposed assistance package for Ukraine, according to sources cited by the Financial Times.
The provision in question allows for the suspension of voting rights for a member state in response to violations of European law.
While any EU member can obstruct this process, recent political changes in Poland, where a liberal opposition has assumed power, have left Hungary without a guaranteed advocate within the EU, as noted by the FT.
Concerns have arisen among several EU nations regarding the potential deployment of "the EU's most powerful weapon against a member state."
European officials are reportedly aiming to sway Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who has refused to support aid to Ukraine, by highlighting the potential consequences of isolation within the EU.
Should diplomatic efforts fail, EU countries may proceed to forge an agreement on assistance to Ukraine without Hungary's involvement. However, such a resolution is anticipated to be temporary and may encounter delays, as reported by the FT.
A senior European official remarked: "Hungary may create more problems. Perhaps Hungary will force us to use other tools. But in the end, Hungary will not be able to prevent us from allocating money to Ukraine."
On Dec. 15, Orban vetoed the EU's decision to allocate €50 billion s in economic assistance to Ukraine.
Charles Michel, head of the European Council, noted that Hungary stood alone in opposing aid to Ukraine during the summit.
Simultaneously, the European Council moved forward with negotiations to integrate Ukraine into the EU – a stance consistently opposed by Orban.
It later emerged that German Chancellor Olaf Scholz persuaded Orban to leave the meeting during the vote, allowing EU leaders to unanimously decide on initiating negotiations.
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