"It is a type of procedure at the end of which there is no sanction, there is no danger", he said, pointing to the example of a 2013 report adopted by the European Parliament which condemned controversial changes to Hungary's constitution.
"The European Parliament rightly stood up for the Hungarian people and for the EU".
The motion was passed with 448 votes for and 197 against, with 48 abstentions. The motion, supported by Parliament's civil liberties committee in June, brings up a number of concerns about the functioning of the country's institutions, including problems with the electoral system, independence of the judiciary and the respect for citizens' rights and freedoms.
"Another long-term agreement is not on the agenda yet since we have to come to an agreement about year 2020, although some. preparatory negotiations on how to go forward have been launched", Szijjarto said on the sidelines of a news conference".
Prime Minister Viktor Orban's government has been accused of attacks on the media, minorities, and the rule of law - charges which he denies. Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban (L) arrives for an EU-Western Balkans Summit in Sofia on May 17, 2018.
Even EPP leader Mandred Weber, who earlier was supportive of Orban and is seeking to become the European Commission president next year, said he had voted for triggering Article 7.
"Without a readiness of the Hungarian government to solve the current issues, the legal concerns that are on the table, the start of a dialogue based on Article 7.1 could be needed", Weber told the chamber.
A rare voice in support of Orban was Nigel Farage, the Chair of the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy Group, and a well-known euroskeptic for his role in the Brexit campaign.
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In a historic vote, European legislators voted against Hungary to launch censure action against its government over alleged breaches of the European Union's core values.
This would not be the first time the Hungarian PM has gone against a European Union institution.
Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto, echoing Orban's longtime position, called the Wednesday's vote "petty revenge" against Hungary for its tough anti-migration policies. The European Parliament's legal services will verify the count, but is not expected to overturn it.
In July, the EU executive body warned it could take Budapest to the European Court of Justice over laws under which anyone assisting an undocumented migrant could be jailed for a year.
With only one precedent of Article 7 being triggered in the past, and at the behest of a different institution, the European Commission, Sargentini was not able to give a definitive schedule to reporters.
The BBC's Nick Thorpe in Budapest says Mr Orban appears increasingly isolated among European conservatives but is being applauded by nationalist parties.
"I have nothing to compromise about since the questions they objected to were decided by the Hungarian people", Orban said Tuesday in Strasbourg, France, after the debate in the European Parliament on the report on Hungary.