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Government confident it can unblock EU funding

September 20th, 2022

A pro-government commentator reads the latest announcement by the European Commission to mean that Hungary will get all the EU funding it is entitled to until 2028.

Addressing the press after the meeting of the European Commission on Sunday, Commissioner Johannes Hahn said the EU executive proposes withholding 7.5 billion euros from Hungary, adding however that remedies proposed by Hungary to ensure the proper use of the funds ‘could work if well implemented’. He mentioned concerns over irregularities in Hungary’s public procurement laws, insufficient safeguards against conflicts of interest, weaknesses in effective prosecution, and shortcomings in other anti-graft measures. He said Hungary should implement the measures promised by mid-November, when the European Council will decide whether to deprive Hungary of 7.5 billion Euros (about one-sixth of the total funds Hungary expects from the 2021-2028 EU budget). Tibor Navracsics, the Cabinet Minister in charge of the use of EU funds called the statement a step forward, opening the way to successfully closing negotiations with the European Union.

Mandiner’s Mátyás Kohán interprets the announcement as a promise that Hungary will get all the EU funding due until 2028. He admits that Hungary’s viability under the current financial difficulties depends on EU funding but adds that the anti-corruption measures Brussels and the government have agreed on will be submitted to Parliament before the end of the week. Hungary ‘would sign the death sentence of its national currency and budget’ if it didn’t implement these measures, he writes. Kohán praises Mr Hahn, who told journalists that the measures envisaged by the Hungarian side are ‘a game-changer’, and saying, when asked about the latest document approved by the European Parliament branding Hungary an ’electoral autocracy’, that he ‘doesn’t intend to interfere with the controversy between the EP and Hungary’. All in all, Kohán concludes, it looks certain that Hungary will not be deprived of the EU transfers it is entitled to.

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