The must-have newsletter about Hungary

Related Articles



The European Parliament has proposed freezing European Union funding, saying that the 17 measures taken by Hungary aimed at unlocking its EU funding were not sufficient to offset the systemic risks to the bloc’s finances. In a resolution adopted on Thursday with 416 votes in favour, 124 against and 33 abstentions, MEPs called on the EC and the European Council to “resist pressure from Hungary and go ahead with adopting the proposed rule-of-law conditionality measures to suspend EU cohesion funds.” The measures should be lifted only “only after the Hungarian remedial measures have had a sustainable effect,” a statement on the EP website said.
Regarding Hungary’s recovery and resilience plan to access the funds set up to counter the fallout of the coronavirus epidemic, MEPs said “they deplore that, because of the government’s actions, recovery funds have not yet reached the Hungarian people,” the statement said. The risk that further funds would be misused remained, the statement said. “[The] Commission should not approve Hungary’s [recovery] plan until the country has fully complied with all recommendations in the field of the rule of law and all relevant judgments of the EU Court and the Court of Human Rights,” it added.
The statement said Hungary was “exerting pressure” on EU bodies by blocking decisions such as aid for Ukraine and the introduction of a global corporate tax, and called on the EC and the European Council not to cave in to it. “This abuse of the rule on voting by unanimity should not have any impact on the decisions regarding the Hungarian recovery plan and the application of the rule of law conditionality legislation,” the resolution said. At the same time, beneficiaries of the funding should not be deprived of the means due to their government’s non-compliance, it said. The EP protested that the proposal to trigger the conditionality procedure against Hungary had long been overdue and did not go far enough. Also, it urged the commission to take action in connection with other breaches of the rule of law, particularly those relating to the independence of the judiciary, the statement said.
In a statement, the Fidesz European parliamentary group said Hungarian left-wing MEPs did not want Hungary to receive EU funds. Fidesz’s MEPs, by contrast, had represented the interests of the Hungarian public by dismissing the text “condemning Hungary and Hungarians” which Hungarian left-wing opposition MEPs had “shamefully supported”. Tamás Deutsch, the group’s head, said that what was a stake was “EU money that is rightfully ours”, and he declared the vote had been an act of “political punishment”. Without the EU funds, teachers would not receive pay rises and municipalities, small and medium-sized firms, hospitals, transport, environmental protection and energy investments would all suffer as a result, too, he added.
Hungarian opposition MEP István Ujhelyi said in a statement that the Fidesz government and the homeland were not synonymous and “Hungary is not equitable to the Orbán regime”. The Fidesz government would bear sole responsibility were Hungary to lose a single cent of EU funding, he said, adding that in a democratic rule-governed state Viktor Orbán and his government “would resign today”.