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Estonian MEP votes in support of Hungary in European Parliament

TALLINN - Where five out of the six Estonian members of the European Parliament on Wednesday voted in favor of a decision criticizing Hungary, Pro Patria, and Respublica Union (IRL) MEP Tunne Kelam, the member of the European People's Party group, voted against it.

Kelam said that the triggering of Article 7 of the regulation is premature and that the European People's Party group expressed a similar view, the head of the MEP's office told BNS.

The European Parliament on Wednesday called for the triggering of Article 7 of the Treaty on the European Union, citing a serious deterioration in the situation with regard to the rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights in Hungary, which may result in sanctions on Hungary.

In the resolution adopted by 393 votes to 221 with 64 abstentions, the European Parliament calls for the triggering of Article 7. The European Parliament will instruct the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs to draw up a formal resolution for a plenary vote.

At the same time, a majority of the members of the 217 member EPP group voted against the decision with only 23 EPP members voting in favor. Fidesz, a Hungarian party led by Prime Minister Viktor Orban, is also a member of EPP.

The resolution calls for the Hungarian government to repeal laws tightening rules against asylum seekers and nongovernmental organizations, and to reach an agreement with the U.S. authorities, making it possible for the Central European University to remain in Budapest as a free institution.

The resolution also calls for the European Commission to strictly monitor the use of EU funds by the Hungarian government.

Recent developments in Hungary have led to a serious deterioration in the rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights which is testing the EU's ability to defend its founding values, the press office of the European Parliament said.

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