Despite recent anti-corruption measures, Hungary fears billions in EU payments will be suspended. The EU Commission recommended on Wednesday not to release Corona aid and other funding until the right-wing government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban fully implements promises to uphold the rule of law. Specifically, this involves around 7.5 billion euros from the community budget and 5.8 billion euros in corona aid.

The EU Commission’s recommendation to freeze funds from the Community budget could be accepted by an EU Council of Ministers in the next few weeks. However, a qualified majority would be necessary – that is, at least 15 of the 27 EU states would have to agree and together make up at least 65 percent of the total population of the EU.

In the case of Corona aid, the Commission proposes formally confirming the Hungarian plan for using the funds. However, payments should only be made if the country meets a catalog of requirements. This also includes the steps formulated in the rule of law procedure. The Commission acted similarly in the case of Poland, whose plan was already adopted in the middle of the year.

The further developments are eagerly awaited, mainly because Hungary has considerable means to put pressure on the EU. For example, the government in Budapest could block all decisions that require unanimity in the EU. This applies, for example, to sanctions against Russia or decisions to support Ukraine in the war against the neighboring country.