What is Turkey up to?
There is no way you can avoid multi-tasking in politics, but it is generally not a good idea to fight two despots at once. Maybe the EU already thinks that it has defeated Vladimir Putin, and is now moving on to the next great battle when it announced a formal rule-of-law procedure against Viktor Orbán. We are not sure why the EU chose this particular moment. Maybe the paperwork was ready that day. But we think it is unwise to do this now. There are a few policies that still require unanimity. Once you threaten to cut somebody off from EU funds, you will not be able to co-opt them so easily any more, for example, when you want to pass an EU-wide oil embargo. Sanctions require unanimity.
There is, of course, no doubt that Orbán is running a corrupt regime. In his 12 years in power, Orbán has effectively abolished democracy as we know it. He stacked the electoral system against opposition parties, and has suppressed civil society groups that are critical of his government. But at the EU level, Orbán always made sure that he was seen as a co-operative player. Unlike Poland, Hungary has not often threatened a veto. With a rule of law procedure, the gloves will be coming off. (via eurointelligence.com)
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