Budapest, November 19 (MTI) – The European Commission on Thursday said it launched an infringement procedure against Hungary for failing to comply with European Union public procurement rules in an upgrade of the Paks nuclear power plant.
“The Hungarian government has directly awarded the construction of two new reactors and the refurbishment of two additional reactors of the Paks II nuclear power plant without a transparent procedure,” the EC said on its website.
“The Commission considers that the direct award of the Paks II nuclear power plant project does not comply with EU legislation on public procurement…[that] consolidate the basic principles of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union of transparency, non-discrimination, and equal treatment,” it added.
The EC asked Hungary for information on the matter in a “letter of formal notice”, the first stage of an infringement procedure.
The EC said it had already had exchanges with the Hungarian authorities and thoroughly assessed the terms of the award but still has “concerns regarding the compatibility of the project with EU public procurement rules”.
At a regular press briefing in Brussels after the decision was announced, Lucia Caudet, the EC’s internal market spokesperson, reiterated the content of the EC’s announcement on the launch of the infringement procedure.
“There’s not much more I can say for now,” she added.
Pressed to comment on a possible suspension of the Paks project, Caudet said the EC was ready to assist the Hungarian authorities when taking the appropriate steps to bring the situation in line with EU law.
“The exchanges between the Commission and the national authorities in the context of infringement procedures are confidential,” she noted.