Parliament passed a law on establishing the Integrity Authority as an autonomous public institution to investigate fraud, conflict of interest, corruption and other crimes in connection with the use of European Union funds in Hungary.
Legislation on the new body passed with 150 votes in favour, 12 against and 19 abstentions.
The authority set up as part of a bid to strike a deal with the EC will be headed by officials proposed by the head of the Audit Office and appointed by the president for a non-renewable six-year term.
The Integrity Authority is expected to start operating in the second half of November.
The authority will work to identify systemic problems and conduct integrity risk assessments, as well as prepare an annual integrity report. It will also lead a register of companies excluded from public procurements. It will alert the EU’s anti-corruption body OLAF and the European Public Prosecutor’s Office if it detects fraud.
Lawmakers of the opposition LMP boycotted the vote on draft legislation aiming to strike an agreement with the European Commission on EU funding for Hungary, party spokesman József Gál said on Tuesday.
The government today tabled a bill on establishing an anti-corruption body.
Gal told an online press conference the proposals were “very clearly tabled only to comply with EU funding regulations, as indicated in their name.”
The question is not whether Hungary is “entitled” to the funds the EU is holding back in the conditionality procedure, Gál said, but rather “how we can stop these funds from later migrating back to [large EU countries] via French or German big capital” as a result of Fidesz’s economic policies.
Meanwhile, he said “the only way to boost the economy was through a green transition”, and he called on the government to allocate funds to promoting the use of wind and solar energy and a large-scale building insulation programme.