Hungary Deprived of EU Aid Funds worth of Billions Due to Corruption



Due to worries about corruption, the European Commission on Sunday suggested withholding $7.5 billion in payments intended for Hungary. According to Budget Commissioner Johannes Hahn, the suspension is intended to defend the Union’s financial situation.

The commissioner told reporters that today’s decision “clearly demonstrates the Commission’s willingness to defend the EU budget, and utilize all means at our disposal to fulfill this crucial aim.” The cash would come from the “cohesion funds” given to Hungary, which are meant to assist EU nations in raising the standards of their economies.

If approved, the budget reduction will be the first punitive action of its sort under the EU’s rule of law framework, which gives Brussels the authority to levy monetary fines on member states whose acts are thought to be at odds with EU ideals. In April of this year, Brussels began the unprecedented process against Hungary.

Hahn claims that since then, Budapest has launched a variety of initiatives aimed at resolving the problems. For instance, the Hungarian government has declared its intention to establish an anti-corruption body by the end of September to supervise the use of EU funding. The deadline for Hungary to “appropriately” adopt the necessary steps, according to Hahn, is “extremely tight.”

He said that because there is still a danger to the budget at this point, “we cannot draw the conclusion that the EU budget is properly safeguarded.”

Now that one month has passed, the EU Council must decide whether to accept the Commission’s proposal. Hungary would then have one month to respond or ask for a delay, so the Commission might at the earliest block the funding on November 19. Hungary has stated that it will be prepared to implement the majority of its “corrective” measures by that timeframe, and the government is anticipated to submit a set of anti-corruption laws next week.

Members of the European Parliament declared earlier this week in a symbolic vote against Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government that Hungary can no longer be regarded as a democracy and that it is instead a “hybrid regime of electoral autocracy” because of the country’s alleged failure to uphold fundamental rights and the rule of law.

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