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EU face inside battle in pandemic aftermath as Hungary threatens bloc


The European Union is set for a "political battle" with Hungary in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, according to EuroNews' Political Editor.

Darren McCaffrey told EuroNews the European Council may look at Article 7 in order to impose sanctions on Hungary following their conduct during the global COVID-19 outbreak. However, Mr McCaffrey added that Poland would most likely veto sanctions against Hungary as they are also being questioned by the European Parliament. Mr McCaffrey added the bloc faces a secondary battle of trying to recover the economy in the wake of coronavirus.

McCaffrey said: "When this pandemic comes to an end, not only is the EU going to face an economic battle to try and get their economy back to recovery mode.

"It is also facing a political battle.

"There are questions about what to do with Hungary.

"There are suggestions that the European Council needs to seriously look at this Article 7 process.

"That would essentially sanction Hungary in many ways.

"However, that can be vetoed by just one country and given the fact that Poland is under questioning from European Parliament and other about its democratic processes, it means that the Article 7 process is unlikely to go anywhere."

He added: "There is also talk of looking at the future budget of the EU and whether that can essentially be controlled by Brussels rather than transferring the money to Budapest.

"There are also discussions on whether there needs to be a specific sanction for Hungary."

Hungary has faced criticism over the way Viktor Orban dealt the coronavirus crisis.

Mr Orban used emergency measures to tackle to the pandemic in Hungary.

Hungary has just under 2,000 cases of COVID-19 in total at the time of writing.

The death toll in Hungary currently stands at 199 people.