Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony on Thursday said he had recently travelled to Brussels for talks with European Commission representatives on European Union funding available to the Hungarian capital.
Karácsony said on Facebook that he had met European Commissioner for Values and Transparency Vera Jourova, European Commissioner for Budget and Administration Johannes Hahn and European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders.
The talks covered Budapest’s plans for energy independence and green investments aimed at reducing utility costs, Karácsony said.
The mayor said the war in Ukraine and the Hungarian government’s “insane spending spree” leading up to the April general election had left Hungary in a “severe economic situation”.
This was why, Karácsony said, Hungary needed the billions of euros in funding it was entitled to from the EU’s post-pandemic recovery fund.
The Orbán government, however, “cannot access these funds because it refuses to meet the EU’s anti-corruption criteria”,
the mayor insisted.
He said the rule-of-law mechanism launched against “the Orbán government” aimed to bring about an agreement between Hungary and the EU that guaranteed enforcement of the principles of the rule of law, “prevents the theft of EU monies” and
“prevents the gutting of the Hungarian local council system”.
Budapest has prepared its plans and the EU funding needed to carry them out is available, Karácsony said. “Now all that is needed is for the Orbán government to govern according to the rule of law,” he added.