European Commission recommends freezing funds for Hungary


The European Commission recommended on Wednesday the blocking of 7.5 billion euros of European Union funds for Hungary due to problems with the rule of law.

Budapest had until November 19 to adopt 17 reforms negotiated with the EU executive over the summer to avoid a funding freeze by Brussels as part of the rule of law mechanism.

“While a number of reforms have been undertaken or are underway, Hungary failed to adequately implement the central aspects of the 17 necessary corrective measures… as it had committed,” the Commission reported.

“As a result, the Commission has decided to keep the initial proposal of September 18 to suspend 65 percent of the commitments for three operational programs under the cohesion policy, worth 7.5 billion euros,” added the Commission.

Budget Commissioner Johannes Hahn argued that the new rule of law conditionality mechanism was “the right tool to implement” as those reforms “would never have happened otherwise”.

Meanwhile, the Commission has approved Hungary’s €5.8 billion Post-Covid-19 Recovery Plan – a step required before the end of the year with Hungary the only member state yet to approve the plan.

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