15.7 billion euros of EU funding are at stake, a sum that could restore Hungary’s unbalanced state budget. Furthermore, it could contribute a lot to dragging Hungary out of the energy and economic crisis caused by the end of the pandemic and the Russian invasion. However, the European Commission (EC) started an infringement procedure against Hungary earlier this year, and they might decide to withhold that money because of fears of corruption. Anyway, they will decide about “Hungary’s fate” on Sunday.
According to rtl.hu, the European Commission started the infringement procedure because they believe some of the EU money paid to Hungary disappears through corruption channels instead of helping the country’s development. Reuters reported on Wednesday that the EC would withhold HUF 6,400 billion (EUR 15.7 billion) until 2027, meaning that Hungary would lose a tremendous amount of money during the 2021-2027 funding period.
Tibor Navracsics, the minister of regional development, told ATV on Wednesday that they did not receive an official or unofficial reply from the European Commission about their future decision regarding the EU funds yet. He highlighted that they made several steps to meet the demands of the EC. For example, they revamped the public procurement system and strengthened the monitoring system and transparency.
Furthermore, the Orbán administration would like to create an anti-corruption agency. Navracsics promised that all the relevant bills will be submitted to the parliament until Monday.
Non-aligned MP Ákos Hadházy said that an office created by the government would not serve its purpose. “If the prime minister chooses the head of an agency, it will not work. There are a lot of such agencies, like the Government Control Office, having rights to keep corruption at bay, but without intention, nothing will happen”, he added. Hadházy believes Orbán would not like Hungary to join the European Public Prosecutor’s Office because he cannot appoint its head.
The European Commission said they would hold their last meeting and decide on the issue this Sunday.
On Wednesday evening, at an event organized by the Representative Office of the European Commission in Hungary, Navracsics said that Hungary might reach an agreement with the European Union by the end of this year. However, the EU monies will start to arrive in Hungary only next spring because of the bureaucracy. He also cleared that he did not expect the European Commission to end the infringement procedure against Hungary in one fell swoop.
He also said that he did not believe local governments might get direct EU funds because the allocation structure was optimised on the governments and their agencies. That is what the commission sees.
Source: rtl.hu, telex.hu