Hungary – EU: Budapest will “comply” to unfreeze the 7.5 billion euros

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The European Commission has long criticized widespread corruption in Hungary.

Hungary pledged today to fulfill all the obligations it undertook to the European Commission in order to lift the freeze on the disbursement of 7.5 billion euros proposed by the Commission, due to the corruption and violations of the principles of the rule of law for which Budapest is accused.

Earlier today, the Commission recommended freezing the disbursement of around a third of the EU’s cohesion fund funds intended for Hungary from the bloc’s common budget for the period 2021-27 totaling 1.1 trillion euros.

7.5 billion corresponds to 5% of the country’s estimated GDP for 2022.

Hungary’s Development Minister, Tibor Navracsics, in charge of negotiations with the EU, expressed hope that the measures Hungary will now take will be enough to convince the Commission that they will be implemented to protect EU funds.

“Hungary has committed to inform the Commission on the implementation of measures to manage the situation by 19 November. We will reassess the situation and act accordingly,” the European Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget of the European Union Johannes Hahn said earlier today, announcing that the Commission will propose freezing the disbursement.

The European Commission has long criticized widespread corruption in Hungary. A July report spoke of “an environment where the risks of clientelism, favoritism and nepotism at the highest levels of public administration have yet to be addressed”.

Hungary has shown some intention to tackle the problem, including setting up an independent authority to oversee the use of EU funds.

EU member states now have up to three months to decide on the proposal.

RES-EMP

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