Entries RSS Feed Share Send to Facebook Tweet This Accessible version

EU court rules payments can be frozen to Poland and Hungary

February 18th, 2022

A left-wing and a pro-government columnist ponder the implications of Wednesday’s ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union.

In a verdict on Wednesday, the European Court of Justice dismissed Hungary and Poland’s challenge to the decision to empower the European Union to suspend or reduce payments to member states which are found in breach of rule of law norms (see BudaPost December 4, 2021). European Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders, however, said that the EU will not withhold funds from Hungary before the April election.

Népszava’s Tamás Rónay interprets the verdict as a ‘historic defeat’ for the Hungarian government and Prime Minister Orbán in person. The left-wing columnist welcomes the decision that will enable the EU to use financial penalties to stop what he sees as pervasive corruption in Hungary. Rónay predicts that government propaganda will deny defeat and accuse Brussels of using double standards.

In Magyar Nemzet, László Szentesi Zöld downplays the potential impact of the ruling. The pro-government commentator points out that it will take months before the EU can initiate the withholding of funds. Even then, any punishment of Hungary would harm foreign investors in the country, including German companies, Szentesi Zöld notes. He concludes that Hungary and Poland need not fear severe penalties. In any case, he dismisses the verdict as ideologically motivated, and condemns those who ‘rabidly celebrate it’ in the left-wing press as ‘traitors to their country’.

Tags: , ,