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Mihkelson: EU treaties allow suspending Hungary's right to vote

MP Marko Mihkelson (Reform).
MP Marko Mihkelson (Reform). Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Riigikogu Foreign Affairs Committee head Marko Mihkelson said that voices asking whether a procedure should be launched to suspend Hungary's voting rights in the EU are becoming louder.

Mihkelson noted that despite everything, participants at the summit were optimistic that it might be possible to change Hungary's mind within the first month of next year and reach an agreement on the Ukrainian aid package.

"But do we then continue to move forward in the European Union by navigating a mine field, so to speak, and where we have to constantly think about how to convince Hungary to join the positions of 26 countries? This certainly makes one think whether the same step that Hungary itself voluntarily took, to give up its voting rights for a moment, is not the way to ultimately find solutions. So that the European Union can act quickly and decisively at a time when a major war is going on in Europe."

Mihkelson said that abandoning unanimity and making decisions by a majority vote is a topic where small countries, including Estonia, have so far been skeptical.

"But of course, there have also been opinions that perhaps a procedure should be initiated to suspend Hungary's voting rights. The treaties allow this, even though it has never been done. And understandably, in the end, the question arises as to why Orban behaves the way he does. Is he really serving the interests of Russia? He is the only head of government in the European Union who has met personally with Putin in the past two years. His actions are very incomprehensible and serve only and exclusively the interests of Russia."

According to Mihkelson, Hungary is not only working against the Ukrainian aid package but also against new and tougher sanctions against Russia.

"Essentially, there is a belief in Brussels that Hungary is currently blocking all stronger attempts to reinforce sanctions. And this makes all of us think whether such a partner is in the same boat with us at this critical time. And whether these efforts, which are constantly being made and are very tiring and draining us at a time when we should be focusing maximally on supporting Ukraine... Whether these efforts are really worth it," Mihkelson said.

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Editor: Urmet Kook, Marcus Turovski

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