Brussels won’t give the green light to Hungary’s plan for utilizing the European Union’s Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) for now due to anti-corruption concerns, according to Politico’s report. Meanwhile, Hungarian government officials acknowledged that there are indeed debates going on which claim that the EU has brought in “new demands” concerning the Fidesz-led government’s new, ‘anti-LGBT’ law.
The Hungarian government submitted its plan in mid-May for the usage of the RRF, covering some HUF 2.5 billion (EUR 7.2 billion) worth of strategic development projects over the next six years.
While the commission has had about two months to endorse the plan with a Monday deadline, officials on Wednesday told Politico that this wouldn’t happen. They explained that under the rules, national spending plans must address “all or a significant subset” of the so-called Country Specific Recommendations.
In Hungary’s case, one of the requests is to “reinforce the anti-corruption framework, including improving prosecutorial efforts and access to public information, and strengthening judicial independence.”
Hungarian government: EC formulated new demands
Earlier there had even been reports about the suspension of talks, something that had eventually been denied both by Hungarian government officials, and European Commission Vice-President Vera Jourová herself.
The PMO Head, however, acknowledged that there are perhaps issues to still discuss. Gergely Gulyás claimed that the European Commission had recently formulated “absurd demands” concerning matters that were already settled.
Something similar was confirmed by the Justice Minister on Tuesday evening. According to Judit Varga, “it is true that the Commission has formulated new demands since the adoption of the Child Protection Act! These demands are obviously related to the child protection regulations.” She also made the Hungarian position clear by insisting that “Brussels cannot take away for any political reason what Hungarian people have worked for.”
In any case, according to Politico’s reports, the ball is in the Hungarian government’s court to address the commission’s concerns.
featured image: European Commission Vice-President Vera Jourová; via MTI/EPA/Reuters pool/Yves Herman