The chief spokesperson for Prime Minister Viktor Orban said Saturday (17 September), that Hungary’s government will submit new laws to parliament next week in order to end a standoff with the European Commission and allow access to EU funds.
Two EU officials stated that they would recommend the suspension of billions of EU funds allocated for Hungary due to corruption concerns. This would be Orban’s first such action.
On Thursday (15 September), a large majority of EU legislators voted to condemn the harm done to democracy by veteran Orban. Orban, who has been at power since 2010, is increasing the pressure on the bloc to cut funding.
Budapest has announced that it will establish an anti-corruption authority and a working group made up of non-governmental organizations to oversee the expenditure of EU funds.
Gergely Gulyas said that either the government has accepted requests from the European Commission or that we have reached an agreement that is acceptable for both sides in areas that we could not accept.
He stated that the government had discussed and approved the commitments at today’s meeting. He stated that Orban’s government would ask that the parliament adopt relevant legislation via a fast-track process.
Gulyas said that the new laws would take effect in November. This could mean that Gulyas will stop taking punitive measures against Hungary. Access to billions more euro is still at risk.
Gulyas said that instead of mutual distrust, constructive series negotiations with Commission over two years can be seen as a step towards mutual trust. He said that Hungary was waiting with “perfect calm” for the EU to rule.
According to the EU anti-fraud agency, Hungary had the highest number of irregularities in EU funds spent between 2015-19. Brussels has long called for transparency in Hungary’s public tender.
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