Belgian PM: Depriving Hungary of EU presidency 'not a good idea'

Belgian prime minister Alexander De Croo is not in favour of depriving Hungary of its presidency of the European Union. He fears such a decision would be counterproductive and could even put the country in a privileged position.

A different member state holds the presidency of the Council of the EU, also known as the Council of Ministers, every six months. In the first half of 2024, Belgium will hold the presidency, followed by Hungary.

But the European Parliament has protested against the Hungarian presidency in a resolution, denouncing the lack of respect for the rule of law shown by Hungary's government. The parliament said it had no confidence in the Hungarian presidency of the European Council of Ministers and asked the other member states to find a "solution" for it.

'A privilege and a duty'

De Croo said in the Chamber on Tuesday that he shared the European Parliament's concerns about the situation of the rule of law in Hungary. "Our country's government has always been clear about this."

But depriving Hungary of the presidency "is absolutely not a good idea", he said. "It would even put Hungary in a privileged position. In my view, it would be counterproductive. The presidency is not only a privilege, but it is also a duty. It obliges a member state to show its hand, play its role as president and be a conciliator."



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