Today: Saturday, 2 March 2024 year

Hungary may soon receive some of the money blocked by the EU.

Hungary may soon receive some of the money blocked by the EU.

Hungary is close to releasing “a certain amount of money” that the EU had previously frozen over concerns that Hungary was violating the rule of law, EU sources said.

As the agency notes, the EU believes that judicial reforms carried out by the government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban last summer contributed to strengthening the independence of the judiciary, and now the European Commission has contacted Budapest to discuss “the latest unresolved issues.”

“Now this will most likely come true… And this, provided that everything is finally in order, will lead to the release of a certain amount of money,” the source said.

In mid-September, the European Commission proposed launching a special conditionality mechanism in relation to Hungary to ensure the protection of the EU budget “from violations of the principles of the rule of law in Hungary.”

This meant freezing some 7.5 billion euros of EU funding for Budapest. This mechanism, designed to protect the community budget from corruption, was activated for the first time in two years of its existence. The EC subsequently decided to maintain its original proposal to suspend 65% of Hungary’s payment obligations from certain EU common funds, although Prime Minister Orbán stated that Budapest had fulfilled the entire list of the Commission’s demands, which related to measures to combat corruption, increase transparency in public procurement, strengthening the independence of the judicial system.

In December 2022, EU countries agreed to freeze funds for Hungary, but at a lower level than previously proposed. Initially, the European Union proposed to freeze funding for Hungary by 7.5 billion euros. In December, European countries agreed to reduce the amount of frozen funds to 6.3 billion euros in exchange for Budapest giving up its veto on a number of issues, in particular the aid package for Kyiv.

 


The Hungarian Prime Minister said that the European Commission continued to block funds from EU funds for Hungary because it wants to influence Budapest’s position on issues of migration, sexuality education and sanctions, but he does not intend to change his point of view on these issues, which he considers fundamental. Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjártó said that the country needs to be prepared for serious attacks from the EU, since “Brussels and the liberal propaganda machine” are not selective in their means and use all types of blackmail against Budapest.