The European Union parliament will decide on Tuesday whether Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban should be punished for undercutting democracy, an unprecedented vote highlighting how the bloc is struggling with a populist and nationalist tide.
If the motion passes it would be the first time the European Parliament votes to take steps under article seven of European Union treaties, which could ultimately deny Hungary its EU voting rights.
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz told ORF television on Monday that his Austrian People's Party - like Fidesz, a member of the EPP, the biggest and most powerful party group in the assembly - would vote in favor of opening Article 7 proceedings against Hungary.
The European Commission, the bloc's executive body, launched Article 7 proceedings against Poland over an alleged erosion of judicial independence late previous year.
It was the first move of its kind in the European Union against a member state, garnering two-thirds of the votes.
"Hungary will not accede to this blackmailing, Hungary will protect its borders, stop illegal migration and - if needed - we will stand up to you", Orban told the European lawmakers.
Orban has faced global condemnation over Hungary's electoral system, violations of press freedoms, undermining the judiciary, Islamophobia and the mistreatment of asylum seekers and refugees, and limits on the functioning of non-governmental organisations.
Orban has said the mostly Muslim refugees pose an existential threat to Europe's Christian civilization.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's government has been accused of breaching the EU's core values in areas of migration, rule of law, and the media - which he denies. "We should not let Europe slide back to the past".
To become the first-ever case of the European Parliament asking EU capitals to launch the punitive mechanism against one of their own, it must win the backing of at least 376 lawmakers and two thirds of the votes cast.
The EPP's leader, Manfred Weber, said he would vote in favour of the motion targeting Orban's government, whose Fidesz party belongs to his grouping.
From Croatia, four EPP MEPs, Ivana Maletic, Dubravka Suica, Zeljana Zovko and Marijana Petir, plus a Conservative, Ruza Tomasic, voted against triggering Article 7.
While Weber had called on Orban to show a willingness to compromise on some of the most high-profile issues - like an agreement being delayed by the Hungarian government for the Central European University, founded by Soros, to remain in Budapest and recent laws criminalizing the work of civic groups working with asylum-seekers and refugees - Orban remained steadfast that his policies wouldn't change.
A group of United Nations human rights experts on Tuesday expressed concern [press release] regarding Hungary's new immigration measures.
The vote, however, has little chance of ending up with the ultimate penalty of Hungary being suspended from voting in the EU.
Also on Tuesday night Orban also faced the prospect of his party being kicked out of the right-wing party group in the European parliament.
The spokesman added: "We place great value on the importance of the rule of law".