The EU Commission could withhold billions in funding for Hungary from the European Community budget due to constitutional concerns. As a spokesman for the Brussels authority confirmed on Friday, the conditions for the payment of 22 billion euros by 2027 from the so-called cohesion fund to promote structurally weak areas are currently not met. The point here is that it must be ensured that the implementation of the national programs corresponds to the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. Because of the insufficient fight against corruption in Hungary, the EU states have just frozen 6.3 billion euros in cohesion funds for the country.
In principle, the EU Commission has reached an agreement with Hungary on the use of the cohesion money, as the authority announced on Thursday. However, certain conditions must first be met. The investments could “only be effective if the institutional and legal framework is right and they are carried out in accordance with the rules and values of the EU,” said the responsible EU Commissioner Elisa Ferreira. Social Affairs Commissioner Nicolas Schmit says: “We will work closely with the country to ensure that the people of Hungary benefit from this important assistance from the EU, while fully respecting the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.”
With regard to the rule of law, the EU Commission believes that the conditions would be met if Hungary implemented the reforms promised in its plan for the payment of billions in corona aid. With a view to the Charter of Fundamental Rights, however, the authority sees further problems in Hungary. It is about “significant risks to academic freedom and the right to asylum” and children’s access to information about non-heterosexual lifestyles.
“With these program components, Hungary does not currently meet the overarching basic requirement in relation to the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights,” said the statement on Thursday. According to this, only money for technical assistance and for fulfilling the necessary requirements can currently be paid out.