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European Union funds are not handouts, Justice Minister Judit Varga said on Wednesday in reaction to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s first State of the Union speech.

In her address to the European Parliament, Von der Leyen underlined the importance of protecting EU funds from fraud, corruption and conflict of interest.

In a Facebook entry, Varga expressed Hungary’s support for the EC president’s stance. “We, too believe that this is not up for debate,” she said. “And neither is the agreement reached between EU leaders this past July under which EU funds cannot be used to exert political pressure. EU values are not for sale and EU funds are not handouts.”

The minister noted that von der Leyen confirmed in her speech that the EC will adopt its annual rule of law report covering all member states before the end of September. Varga said that “as a way of gearing up for the report”, she will release “interesting facts and comparisons regarding the rule of law” in the coming days.

Deutsch: EC President Breaks with Predecessor's Positions on Many Issues
Deutsch: EC President Breaks with Predecessor's Positions on Many Issues

Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, has broken with the positions represented by her predecessor Jean-Claude Juncker on many issues, ruling Fidesz MEP Tamás Deutsch said on Thursday. Deutsch told public broadcaster Kossuth Radio that Von der Leyen’s speech assessing the European Union on Wednesday showed a “centralist and more balanced” […]Continue reading

On another subject, Varga said she hoped that the commission was not going to attempt to achieve its climate change targets “by recycling past accusations” by NGOs linked to US billionaire George Soros.

Featured photo via Judit Varga’s Facebook page