The European Parliament voted on Wednesday to start an EU punitive procedure against Hungary for flouting democratic rules.
Voting 448 in favour, 197 against and 48 abstentions, the motion passed in the Strasbourg plenary session.
It marks the first time the European legislature has ever triggered the so-called Article 7 procedure against an EU member state.
The same procedure was launched by the European Commission against Poland in December 2017.
Article 7, often dubbed the “nuclear option”, is the EU’s punishment clause, allowing it to discipline member states when there is a “clear risk of a serious breach” of the bloc’s core principles.