Zimmer explains: “Month after month, we are seeing the situation of fundamental rights in Hungary continuously deteriorate under Viktor Orbán's regime. The latest attack is on academic freedom through the law designed to shut down independent universities – in particular the Central European University – in order to silence critical thinking against Orbán.”

“NGOs have consistently alerted the European Commission to these breaches of European and international law, providing strong evidence of how Orbán's government is curtailing freedom of the media, sustaining attacks against NGOs, restricting citizens' rights in the name of 'anti-terror measures' and conducting widespread abuses of refugees' and migrants' human rights.

“I have strong concerns regarding the violation of asylum seekers' rights in Hungary. Their legal situation has continued to deteriorate since 2015, as well as their everyday situation on the ground where daily abuses at the Hungarian-Serbian border have been reported. Meanwhile, the Commission remains appallingly silent.

“I call on the Commission to trigger Article 7.1 of the Treaty on European Union in response to the Hungarian government's breaches of the rule of law and EU principles.

“The Commission should also begin infringement proceedings because Hungarian asylum law is clearly not in line with European and international law on asylum and human rights.

“The Hungarian government legalised pushbacks of refugees at its borders as well as de facto automatic detention of asylum-seekers including children and minors. These examples of infringements of EU law are already more than enough reason for the EU to start defending its values via legal channels against Viktor Orbán.

“In addition, Orbán's verbal attack against the European Court of Human Rights at the EPP congress last week, which followed a judgement regarding Hungary's violation of asylum seekers' rights, is unacceptable in a country that is a member of the European Union. His instrumentalisation of anti-terror laws that led to the condemnation of 11 asylum seekers, including the jailing of Ahmed H. and Yaman A. for protesting at the time of the closure of the Serbia-Hungary border, is also totally unacceptable. Enough is enough!”

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