MEP Istvan Ujhelyi, deputy leader of the Hungarian Socialists, told MTI on Monday that his party opposes an initiative by the EP’s liberal group (LIBE) to start the Article 7 procedure against Hungary. The procedure, if launched, could lead to suspension on Hungary’s membership of the European Union. Ujhelyi said the initiative was a “tragic” consequence of the Hungarian government’s policies, and was aimed at preventing an “epidemic” of those policies in the European Union. He argued, however, that applying Article 7 was not a good tool for prevention. “A whole nation cannot be punished for irresponsible acts by its leaders,” he said. Unless the government changes its policies, “it is feared that the EU will use us for an experiment of sanctioning those violating its values,” Ujhelyi said. “I cannot support (application of) Article 7 because that would destroy Hungary’s future for generations,” he added. Ujhelyi said that the leadership of the EP’s social democrats would debate LIBE’s proposal at an extraordinary session on Monday.