Written by Anthony Constantini
What’s happening: European Union parliamentarians are attempting to use an obscure and unprecedented tool to ban Hungary’s populist leadership from having a say in major European Union decisions.
- More: Unanimity is one of the key E.U. principles: all 27 E.U. member countries must agree on major decisions regarding foreign affairs, migration, and other key issues. This would be the first time in the E.U.’s 30-year history that a state was deprived of its right to vote.
Why it matters: This is the latest and perhaps most blatant example of an establishment trying to take a legal mallet to their opponents, instead of attempting to work with the rising populists.
Brussels fears Orbán: The E.U. establishment is concerned that Hungary’s leader, Viktor Orbán, whom they decry as a “traitor,” will soon have more power. Orbán presents himself as a nationalist who puts Hungary’s interests first, and he’ll soon hold more sway.
- Elections: E.U. parliamentary elections are in June. Far-right and anti-establishment parties are set to do well.
- Internal politics: In July, Hungary will inherit the presidency of the Council of the European Union — a six-month position rotating between all member states — during which it will have more influence in the E.U.’s direction. Brussels is panicking over what Orbán might do with his newfound influence.
U.S. parallels: The attempts of the parliamentarians to use obscure legal tools to block their opponents reflect Democrat attempts to remove Trump from the ballot via the Constitution’s “insurrection clause” — never before used for a presidential candidate.