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Sep 20, 2018

Bulgaria backs Hungary in its standoff with the European Union

PM Borissov said his government agreed that if there were a motion to strip Hungary of its EU voting rights, Sofia would oppose it

Bulgaria has announced that it will support Hungary in its standoff with the European Union.

Bulgaria's deputy prime minister said the countries of eastern Europe had to stand together in their dealings with Brussels.

In a vote last week, the European Parliament backed sanctions against Hungary, accusing the government of flouting EU standards on democracy, civil rights and corruption.

According to Reuters, this could theoretically result in Hungary losing its EU voting rights - but any one member state could veto the move, and both Poland and the Czech Republic have already said they would.

Krasimir Karakachanov, a member of the anti-immigrant United Patriots, junior partner in Bulgaria’s ruling coalition, said the cabinet had unanimously agreed to forge a common position that would oppose any sanctions against Hungary.

Poland is also being investigated by the EU over its rule of law. Bulgaria is, as of yet, not facing any such investigation.

Prime Minister Boyko Borissov played down the significance of the cabinet agreement, saying it had been taken at an “operative meeting” and had no legal value.

Speaking to reporters upon arrival in Salzburg to attend an EU leaders’ summit, Borissov said his government had agreed that if there were a motion to strip Hungary of its EU voting rights, Sofia would oppose it.