EU suspended € 6.3 billion of aid to Hungary over anti-corruption reforms

EU ambassadors decided to “postpone” the aid to Hungary for 6.3 billion euros for several years. The reason for this was violations related to corruption in the country and the rule of law.

Source: the EU Council official website.

EU aims at protecting the budget against potential breaches

This decision means that the Committee of Permanent Representatives has found the required qualified majority to impose measures for the protection of the EU budget against the consequences of breaches of the principles of the rule of law in Hungary. 

It’s related to public procurement, prosecutorial action effectiveness, and the country’s fight against corruption. The budgetary impact of this suspension amounts to €6.3 billion in fiscal commitments, the EU Council reported.

Hungary continues to lose leverage over the EU. The country, dependent on EU funding, can only remember about the funds if it does not eliminate corruption.

Hungary was given two years for the correction

The reason for the decision of the Committee of Permanent Representatives was the violation of the principles of the rule of law in Hungary, which relate to public procurement, the effectiveness of the prosecutor’s office, and the fight against corruption.

Therefore, once the country eliminates these violations, it can count on budgetary commitments for 6.3 billion euros.

It should be noted that the relevant restrictions are temporary. They can be wholly abolished if the country corrects the situation completely. Hungary has two years to do this.

It should be added that despite this, Hungary will receive 5.8 billion euros. These funds will be allocated from the EU fund for economic recovery after the pandemic (RRP).

Hungary’s pro-Russia stance

We should remember that Hungary continues to block sanctions against Russia. Budapest states that the 9th package “threatens Hungarian security.” And Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto notes that the EU’s sanctions policy against Moscow is “a failure.”

Hungary continues to play along with Putin. Thus, the Hungarian government “defended” the right to pay more than $ 60 per barrel for Russian oil. This financial ceiling was determined within the framework of the oil embargo. But this time, Budapest found an opportunity to support the Kremlin.

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