Daniel Freund

24. November 2022 Anti-Corruption

Our pressure works! EU Commission wants to freeze EU funds for Hungary

The EU Commission has taken a harder line against the Orban government in protecting the rule of law. According to media reports, it will propose to Member States to freeze 7.5 billion euros from the EU budget to Hungary. The reason: Orban’s government has not fulfilled the agreed reform promises. At the end of last week, the EU Commission was still saying that the Hungarian government could fulfill the reform demands. The change of course came after the rule of law negotiators in the European Parliament announced last Thursday that the reform measures in Hungary were insufficient to restore the rule of law and that the measures had NOT been fully implemented by the government in Budapest. This statement – combined with the demand to freeze EU payments to Budapest amounting to 7.5 billion euros – is also part of a resolution that will be voted on today (Thursday) in the European Parliament. A clear majority in favor is expected.

Daniel Freund, Green negotiator for the rule of law mechanism in the European Parliament’s Budgetary Control Committee, comments:

“It is high time that Viktor Orban finally gets the receipt from Brussels for his authoritarian course. The EU Commission does not want to be fooled by Viktor Orban any longer. Ursula von der Leyen is finally taking the European Parliament’s line. She recognises that Viktor Orban’s sham reforms do not result in any improvements on the rule of law in Hungary. If billions in payments from Brussels fail to materialize now, the responsibility lies solely with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. It is now up to the Member States’ governments  to follow the clear demands of the European Parliament and the EU Commission. EU funds to the Orban government must be frozen and the Hungarian reconstruction plan must not be approved. If the Commission proposes to approve the plan, it contradicts itself. You cannot say “Hungary is corrupt, we are freezing money” and at the same time approve the plan and not recognise the corruption. The government in Hungary had years to implement the demands from Brussels. It didn’t. Now there must be consequences.”

The draft resolution text (in English): https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/B-9-2022-0511_EN.pdf 

It is high time that Viktor Orban finally gets the receipt from Brussels for his authoritarian course.