European Union lawmakers have called for the strict monitoring of human rights, the rule of law and democracy in EU member Hungary after its prime minister raised questions about whether the death penalty should be reintroduced.

The lawmakers called Wednesday on the EU's executive commission to "immediately initiate an in-depth monitoring process" in Hungary and to report back before September. The resolution passed 362 votes to 247, with 88 abstentions.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban sparked controversy recently by saying the death penalty should be "kept on the agenda" even if Hungary had no plans to try to reintroduce it.

Capital punishment is banned in the 28-nation EU.