Brussels has launched an infringement procedure against Hungary after identifying a new risk of corruption in the legal system of the country.
Hungary is one step further away from EU funds, as hvg.hu put it. An infringement procedure has been opened for failure to apply EU anti-fraud rules. At the heart of the long-running dispute over EU funds is the fact that Hungary is denied access to them because the European Commission says there is a high risk of corruption, which could jeopardise the proper use of EU funds, Népszava reports.
These are communicated to the Hungarian authorities year after year in so-called country-specific recommendations,
but the Hungarian government fails to act on them.
Thus, the European Commission’s opinion has not changed, and now, it seems that the Hungarian position is deteriorating even further. The Commission has identified another risk in the Hungarian system, which has led to the opening of an infringement procedure. This position has recently come to the fore in discussions on EU recovery funds,
which has led to the European Commission refusing to approve EUR 1,500 billion in funds.
According to hvg.hu, the Commission has decided to send a letter of formal notice to Hungary for failing to correctly transpose EU rules in the fight against fraud affecting the EU’s financial interests by criminal law (Directive (EU) 2017/1371). The other three countries that received such notice are Estonia, Malta, and the Netherlands.
The aforementioned rules protect the EU budget by aligning definitions, penalties, jurisdiction rules, and limitation periods for fraud and other criminal offences against the EU’s financial interests. Hungary now has two months to respond.
If Brussels’s concerns are not dispelled, the procedure will move on to the next stage.
As we can read in the article of hvg.hu, in addition to this, four other cases have been opened or are ongoing.
Source: hvg.hu, Népszava, Blikk