POST TIME: 13 September, 2018 00:00 00 AM
European Parliament votes to punish Hungary

European Parliament votes to punish Hungary

Member of EU Parliament Judith Sargentini (C) reacts after the vote on the situation in Hungary during a voting session at the European Parliament yesterday in Strasbourg, eastern France. AFP PHOTO

The European Parliament yesterday voted to punish Hungary for cracking down on democratic institutions, setting off a process that could ultimately lead to the suspension of the country's voting rights in the bloc, reports CNN.

It is the first time that the parliament has launched the EU's disciplinary process against a member state, known as Article 7, and it exposes the deep unease in parts of the Europe about the policies pursued by the country's hardline prime minister Viktor Orban.

The vote comes nine months after the European Commission used its power to launch the same process against Poland. The rarely-invoked process is designed to prevent member states breaching the EU's "core values". After the vote, Sargentini thanked her colleagues for standing up "for the protection of democracy and the rule of law, above their interest in party politics."