BRUSSELS is mulling cutting funds to Hungary by 20 percent in a move set to infuriate Prime Minister Viktor Orban. Story by the Express
According to a document published in late July, the EU Commission is considering cutting funds to Budapest by 70 percent for three key programmes for cohesion policy, for a total of 20 percent of the funds the bloc dishes out to Hungary over seven years.
Budget Commissioner Johannes Hahn said the funds would be cut for a “systemic inability, failure or unwillingness, on the part of the Hungarian authorities, to prevent decisions that are in breach of the applicable law, as regards public procurement and conflicts of interest, and thus to adequately tackle risks of corruption”.
In response to the bloc’s threat, Hungary said it will create an anti-corruption authority and a working group involving non-government organisations to oversee the spending of European Union funds.
The move by Budapest is aimed at unlocking EU funds as nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government is locked in battles with Brussels over corruption, migration, LGBTQ rights and democratic standards.
The Commission has been withholding its approval for Hungary to draw on money meant to help lift economies from the COVID-19 pandemic, accusing Mr Orban’s government of undermining the rule of law.
Continue reading the full story: VDL on verge of huge clash as bloc plots major fund cuts to Hungary despite Orban’s pledge