On Wednesday, a Bulgarian nationalist MEP made a Nazi salute in the European Parliament chamber in Strasbourg after speaking during a debate on the rule of law in Poland and Hungary.
In a video of the discussion, Angel Dzhambazki of the Bulgarian nationalist VMRO party is seen raising his right arm in front of him before leaving the chamber. In the European Parliament, VMRO is a member of the euroskeptic European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group.
"We will never let you dictate what we say and do. Long live Orban and Fidesz, Kaczynski and the PiS, Bulgaria and our nation-state", Dzhambazki stated during the debate.
"Long live the Europe of nations," he said at the end.
On Twitter, he also called the European Court of Justice's decision to endorse a system that permits the withholding of payments to nations that violate the rule of law an "abomination." Hungary and Poland had challenged the law, which was rejected by the EU's highest court.
The rule of law situation in Hungary and Poland has long been a source of contention inside the European Union. Brussels has attacked judicial changes in Poland, claiming that they threaten judges' independence. The EU has also expressed concern over Warsaw's failure to recognize the priority of EU law above Polish legislation.
In the instance of Hungary, the European Commission expressed concerns about the awarding of public contracts, conflicts of interest, and misappropriation of EU money.
The European Parliament's vice-president, Italy's Pina Picierno, stated that the institution will "examine with the cameras what transpired in this hemicycle, to see if there was a fascist salute or not."
"We do not tolerate fascist gestures or symbols in any form. If this has occurred, it is quite severe, and punishments will be imposed " She forewarned.