04:07 GMT28 January 2020
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    The European Parliament earlier invoked article 7 procedures, opening the door to possible sanctions against Hungary for its “systematic threat” to democracy in the EU, after its government undertook measures to stop illegal migrants from crossing its borders.

    Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has denounced the proposed EU measure to deploy a 10,000-stronge force to guard the EU's borders during a speech before the country's parliament. According to him, such a move is aimed at depriving EU countries of their right to defend their borders and to make entering the union easier for migrants.

    "It's not right if they want to take the right of border protection away from us and if Brussels wants to direct the defense of Hungary's borders. Our borders are protected not only by professionals but by patriots," he said.

    READ MORE: Analyst: EU Vote to Punish Hungary 'Definitely a Major Decision' in Bloc History

    Orban's spokesman Zoltan Kovacs later added that Hungary will oppose any migration-related reform in the EU that comes ahead of the upcoming EU parliamentary elections in May 2019, The Guardian reported.

    "The global elite still believe it is in the west's interest to permit hundreds of thousands of migrants every year," Kovacs said.

    The spokesman also blasted the EU plan to place 10,000 Frontex border guards on the external borders of the EU, claiming that "the commission's plan is not going to happen."

    European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker proposed last week to boost the EU's border guards Frontex with an additional 10,000 men by 2020 in order to enhance the protection of the EU's external borders.

    READ MORE: EU Treats Hungary, Poland as 'Populist' Countries — Ex-Polish Lawmaker

    Earlier, two-thirds of the EU parliament voted in favor of triggering article 7 against Hungary in response to recent developments in the country, such as new legislation in regards to domestic media and opposition to EU migration policies, which were perceived by some lawmakers to be "threat" to democracy. The article allows other EU members to impose sanctions on Hungary, including stripping it of its voting rights. This is the first time that the article has been invoked.


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