European Commission says Hungary has not done enough to receive funds

European Commission says Hungary has not done enough to receive funds
Photo: Guillaume Perigois - Unsplash

The European Commission has proposed that the payment of financial support to Hungary from the EU’s structural funds should be blocked due to the country’s persistent failures to stop corruption and control public contracts. 

The relationship between the European Union and the government of right-wing populist Viktro Orban has long been marked by tension and antipathy. However, with the Hungarian economy currently struggling and in need of support from the EU funds, in recent months the country has implemented a series of 17 reforms, which were agreed with the European Commission, with the hope of facilitating the approval of the financial aid. 

Yet despite this, the Commission ruled that these changes are still insufficient in being able to ensure that money granted to Hungary by the EU is protected against corruption and cronyism. On this basis, an award of 5.8 million euros will be conditioned on the introduction of more reforms. 

The European Budget Commissioner Johannes Hahn has stated that “Hungary is definitely headed in the right direction. However, the risk to the EU budget continues, as gaps remain in the central parts of the reforms”. The final decision on whether to grant the funds will be up to the leaders of individual member states, who will be presented with an analysis by the Commission which will indicate the amount of the fund that they believe Hungary should be able to access. 

Finance ministers will be able to vote on the question in the first week of December, with the 19 December being the deadline for a final decision. A qualified majority vote is required to approve the proposal. 

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