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RE: Civil Society Organizations Urge Council To Urgently Take Up Hungarian COVID-19 Response In Ongoing Article 7 Procedure

Dear Ministers,

We, the undersigned organisations, write to you ahead of your debate tomorrow with EU affairs ministers to discuss the EU’s and the member states’ response to the COVID-19 outbreak. While EU institutions and member states are occupied with finding an effective, unified response to the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic, we are concerned over how the Government of Hungary is using this challenging situation as an opportunity to further restrict human rights and erode the rule of law. In doing so, and contrary to the solidarity principle that should underpin EU cooperation, it takes Hungary further away from the Union’s founding and common values.

Our organisations urge your government and the Council of the European Union to recognise the grave implications of the Hungarian government’s recent steps and to take immediate measures to protect the principles enshrined in Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU), and the rights enshrined in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. The situation is of the utmost concern, considering the already deteriorated state of the rule of law and human rights in Hungary, which warranted the activation, in September 2018, of the procedure laid down in Article 7.1 TEU.