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Belgium Proposes EU Voting Rights Freeze for Hungary

Hungary’s ongoing resistance to military aid for Ukraine and its delays on Russia sanctions have sparked growing unease within the European Union.

“We have a Europe that is held hostage by certain states' transactional and veto-oriented behavior,” said Belgian Foreign Minister Hadja Lahbib in a recent interview with POLITICO, highlighting concerns about the impact on Europe’s progress.

Belgium, currently holding the rotating Council of the EU presidency, has taken the unprecedented step of urging other member states to consider initiating measures that could lead to the suspension of Hungary’s voting rights. This call to action is particularly significant as Hungary is scheduled to assume the presidency next month.

Budapest has consistently impeded or refused EU aid to Ukraine since Russia’s full-scale invasion, causing significant tension among member states. This stance has further isolated Hungary within the bloc, with many expressing frustration over its perceived obstruction of collective efforts to support Ukraine.

Recent reports by The Financial Times have highlighted Hungary’s blockade of the EU’s plan to allocate funds from frozen Russian assets for the purchase of weapons for Ukraine. This move has further exacerbated concerns about Budapest’s commitment to the EU’s shared foreign policy goals.

In response to Hungary’s actions, Lahbib has advocated for advancing the EU’s Article 7 censure procedure against Budapest. This extreme measure could ultimately result in the suspension of Hungary’s voting rights within the EU.

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