Corruption: the European Union threatens Hungary to cut 7.5 billion euros in funding

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Corruption: the European Union threatens Hungary to cut 7.5 billion euros in funding
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The European Commission proposed on Sunday September 18 to the Member States to suspend 7.5 billion euros of European funding to Hungary, due to risks linked to corruption, pending the implementation of reforms.

“Hungary has undertaken to inform the Commission of the implementation of measures to remedy the situation by November 19. We will reassess the situation and act accordingly”European Budget Commissioner Johannes Hahn told a press conference.

In April, the European Commission launched against Hungary a procedure never used before, which can lead to the suspension of European funding whose use is threatened by problems of corruption or lack of judicial control in a country.

An “independent authority” against corruption

The final decision rests with the Council, an institution representing the Member States, which have one month to decide. The period can be extended by two additional months.

In an attempt to address Brussels’ concerns, Budapest announced a series of measures, including the establishment of an “independent authority” to fight corruption and increase transparency in public procurement procedures.

Budapest is also struggling to convince Brussels to unblock its post-Covid recovery plan (5.8 billion euros in subsidies). Hungary is the only EU country whose plan has still not received the green light from the European Commission, for the same reasons related to respect for the rule of law.

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