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Can Hungary be prevented from holding the EU Presidency?

By Nawab Khan BRUSSELS, May 30 (KUNA) -- The European Parliament on Wednesday will debate the latest developments in Hungary regarding alleged breaches to the rule of law and fundamental rights and frozen EU funds.
A resolution on the issue will be put to the vote on Thursday.
Ahead of Hungary taking over the rotating six-month presidency of the Council of the European Union in July 2024, the not-yet final version of the resolution is set to question whether the Hungarian government of Viktor Orban is fit to fulfil its duties.
The draft resolution questions "how Hungary is able to fulfil this task credibly in 2024 in view of incompliance with EU law and the values enshrined in Article 2 of EU treaty as well as the principle of sincere cooperation." If the European Parliament does adopt the resolution to block Hungary's EU Presidency, the move will be unprecedented and could open a Pandora's Box on legal aspect as to how an EU member can be prevented from this task? However, the final decision on the matter rests with the Council which represents the 27-EU governments.
Asked to comment on the issue, chief spokesperson for the European Commission Eric Mamer told reporters last Friday that "we do not comment on resolutions that have not been adopted." "For us the list of countries holding the Council presidency is within the remits of the Council so it is not for the Commission to take a position on that area," he noted.
Since 1958 , the presidency of the EU Council rotates among the EU member states every 6 months. During this 6-month period, the presidency chairs meetings at every level in the Council, in order to ensure the continuity of the EU's work in the Council.
Member states holding the presidency work together closely in groups of three, called 'trios'. The trio sets long-term goals and prepares a common agenda determining the topics and major issues that will be addressed by the Council over an 18-month period.
On the basis of this program, each of the three EU countries prepares its own more detailed 6-month program.
Spain will take over the EU Presidency from Sweden in July, followed by Belgium in the first half of 2024 and then Hungary in the second half.
The European Parliament in a resolution adopted in September 2022, condemned the deliberate and systematic efforts of the Hungarian government to undermine European values.
Hungary can "no longer be considered a full democracy," it lamented.
As for Hungarian Justice Minister Judit Varga, she said on Facebook on Friday that the presidency of the Council of the EU "is not a right but a duty." "What we promised, we are determined to achieve it, and we will do it with integrity. No one can take that away from us," she said.
According to Varga, the EU presidency is "an excellent opportunity not only to make our country and its position better known in the EU member states, but also to shape the future of Europe. In this context, the Hungarian Presidency will have three main priorities: demography, competitiveness and the future of cohesion policy," she recalled.
Zoltan Kovacs, Hungarian State Secretary for International Communication, said, "We know the actual reason: they dislike Hungary's pro-peace stance and want to drive us into conflict." He was referring to the war in Ukraine.
Moreover, the EU is exasperated over Hungary's refusal to approve billion of euros in financial aid for Ukraine, and for Budapest's rejection of EU sanctions on Russia.
Polish newspaper Zeczpospolita commented, "Hungary is blackmailing the entire community in order to delay aid to Ukraine or ease sanctions against Russia." (end) nk.gta