September 12, 2018 / 12:31 PM / 5 months ago

EU executive head backs start of punitive action versus Hungary over rule of law

FILE PHOTO: European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker delivers a speech during a debate on The State of the European Union at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, September 12, 2018. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler/File Photo

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said he supported the European Parliament’s decision on Wednesday to open a punitive procedure against Hungary for persistently flaunting democratic rules.

The procedure, called Article 7, can theoretically go as far as suspending of Hungary’s voting rights in the EU.

“If I was a member of the European Parliament, I would have voted in favor of Article 7,” Juncker said in a tweet.

“The European Commission is using the tools we have, launching infringement procedures against countries that don’t respect EU law. Am in harmony with today’s decision,” he said.

Reporting by Jan Strupczewski

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