Brussels has frozen 22 billion for Hungary
Poland complained from the dictation of the European bureaucracy
The European Commission has frozen all 22 billion euros of EU cohesion funds for Hungary until the government meets conditions related to the independence of the judiciary, academic freedoms, the rights of the LGBT community and the asylum system, the BBC reported.
The only thing that the country will be able to receive without reforms is 1.5% of the funds in the form of pre-financing.
The European institutions had decided on December 12 to freeze 6.3 billion euros of the funds, until the Eurosceptic government of Viktor Orbán fulfilled even stricter conditions – 17 in number, to improve the state of the judicial system, but also to deal with corruption .
The 22 billion euros Hungary was supposed to receive from the EU’s long-term budget, foreseen for the period 2021-2027. According to the policy of the bloc, the money is divided into periodic tranches and rather represents a refund of already spent funds from the national budget, the purpose of which is was the fulfillment of agreed goals. The idea of solid support is
to equalize the standard of life
between the richest and poorest members of the bloc.
In addition to the cohesion funds, the EU is also withholding 5.8 billion euros in subsidies to Hungary from the recovery fund until the government takes measures on the independence of the courts. The decision to freeze all Hungarian funds was taken after the EC and Budapest signed a so-called “partnership agreement” detailing how EU money should be spent, as well as 11 operational programs under cohesion policy.
“The EC considers that the key condition of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU has not yet been fulfilled. Therefore, we cannot reimburse the costs. We will continue to work with the Hungarian authorities to overcome this situation”, explained Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms Elisa Ferreira.
The Commission is deeply concerned about Hungary’s controversial anti-LGBT law, which restricts the teaching of gay and transgender issues in schools. In addition, the institution pays attention to
“the serious ones risks for the academic freedom and the right to asylum”
On these grounds, the EC decided on Thursday that it will not pay Hungary the funds it needs until the country restores compliance with the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights.
In response, the Hungarian government said the law restricting gender and sexual identity education was meant to protect children.
Meanwhile, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki commented that Poland and Italy are tired of the dictates of the European bureaucracy and together they plan to renew the EU by returning it to its founding principles, where democracy is deeply rooted.
“A Europe of fatherlands, not a European superstate,” declared Moravetski.