September 11, 2018 / 4:12 PM / 12 days ago

Hungary signed EU treaties, must observe EU laws - Commission

STRASBOURG (Reuters) - Hungary has signed European Union treaties and therefore must observe EU laws on the rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights, the First Vice President of the European Commission told the European Parliament on Tuesday.

Speaking at the end of a debate on a parliamentary report that accused Hungary’s government of corruption, undermining democracy, the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary, Timmermans said the Commission was ready to take the government to court if rules were broken.

“The Commission operates on the basis of the treaty, the treaty was signed by sovereign nations... and ... if you sign a treaty ... you apply the rules. And you cannot use the argument of democracy to ignore the rules,” Timmermans said.

“The Commission believes that the only European way is through dialogue. Dialogue. And if the dialogue doesn’t deliver the results, we will go to court,” he said.

Reporting By Alastair Macdonald and Daphne Psaledakis; writing by Jan Strupczewski

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