EC Starts Conditionality Mechanism Linking Funding to the Rule of Law in Hungary

  • 28 Apr 2022 6:57 AM
  • Hungary Matters
EC Starts Conditionality Mechanism Linking Funding to the Rule of Law in Hungary
Hungary’s government has received from Brussels the letter activating the so-called conditionality mechanism linking European Union funding to the rule of law, the prime minister’s chief of staff said on Wednesday.

The government will review the letter and give a detailed opinion on it at Thursday’s regular press briefing, Gergely Gulyás said in a video on Facebook.

All the government can say for now is that Hungarian voters made a clear decision in the April 3 general election, Gulyás said. The people made it clear that Hungary needed to stay out of the war in Ukraine, that Hungarians should not be made to pay the price of war and that protecting children from “any form of sexual propaganda” is a priority, he said.

“These issues are red lines for the government on which it can make no concessions,” Gulyás said. He added that at Thursday’s briefing the government will give a detailed opinion on issues it is willing to compromise on.

Earlier on Wednesday, the European Commission said it had authorised Johannes Hahn, the Commissioner for Budget and Administration, to send a notification letter to Hungary, activating the mechanism linking EU funding to the rule of law.

Věra Jourová, the Vice-President for Values and Transparency, said on Twitter that the conditionality mechanism will be activated by the letter. “We identified issues that might be breaching [the rule of law] in HU and affect the EU budget,” she said.

Hungary will need to address the EC’s concerns and make proposals to remedy the problems, she added. Jourová said the EC decision was in line with an earlier ruling by the Court of Justice of the EU, under which the commission needs to prove a link between the rule of law and the impact of deficiencies on the European budget.

Suspension of payments to Hungary could arise from deficiencies in the national anti-corruption strategy and could impact a large part of EU funding, including cohesion and agricultural funds.

Hahn said on Twitter that under its obligation to protect the European budget, the commission would scrutinise each member state within the auspices of the mechanism.

MTI Photo: Tibor Illyés

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