27th Sep 2023

EU should freeze all funds to Hungary, says study

Listen to article

The European Commission should suspend 100 percent of EU funds to Hungary, say MEPs citing a legal study.

"It's a little over €6bn per year," German Green MEP Daniel Freund told reporters in Strasbourg on Wednesday (6 July).

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

The statement was backed by MEPs from the centre-right EPP, socialist S&D and the liberal Renew Europe.

It comes after the European Commission in April launched a rule of law probe against Hungary.

The probe was triggered after intense pressure from the European Parliament.

The commission will next have to determine the infractions against Hungary.

"The biggest question is how much money will the commission suggest to freeze," said Freund.

Finnish centre-right MEP Petri Sarvamaa said it should be 100 percent of the EU funding going to Hungary.

So too did liberal Renew Europe Moritz Körner and Spanish socialist Eider Gardiazabal.

Sarvamaa said the cross-party agreement counters the Hungarian government's narrative the commission probe is part of a leftist and politically driven plot.

"If you're looking here on the stage, how serious can that argument be," he said, in a nod to his centre-right party ties.

Sarvamaa also voiced frustration at European Commission president Von der Leyen for dragging out the probe.

"The commission looking back was not up to the job," he said.

All four MEPs made their statements, while presenting a 36-page legal analysis on the issue.

The study, which was carried out by three law professors, made the case that the commission should suspend 100-percent of the EU funds towards Hungary.

It said Hungarian rule of law breaches are "so fundamental, frequent or widespread they represent a complete failure of the budgetary implementation and monitoring system in a member state."

It notes, among other things, that Hungary's track record of mismanagement of EU funds dates back over a decade.

The authors describe Hungarian corruption like contaminated water that flows through lead pipes.

"Delivery of that water for human consumption should be suspended until the poisonous lead pipes are replaced," it said.


Right of Reply: Hungarian government

The government in Budapest responds to EUobserver opinion piece "Are Orban's Covid powers now the 'new normal' in Hungary?"

Orbán's new state of emergency under fire

Hungary's premier Viktor Orbán declared a state of emergency due to the war in neighbouring Ukraine hours after pushing a constitutional amendment through parliament, where two-thirds of MPs are controlled by his Fidesz party, allowing his government special powers.


Will Poles vote for the end of democracy?

International media must make clear that these are not fair, democratic elections. The flawed race should be the story at least as much as the race itself.

Latest News

  1. EU and US urge Azerbijan to allow aid access to Armenians
  2. EU warns of Russian 'mass manipulation' as elections loom
  3. Blocking minority of EU states risks derailing asylum overhaul
  4. Will Poles vote for the end of democracy?
  5. IEA says: Go green now, save €11 trillion later
  6. The failure of the Just Energy Transition Fund in South Africa
  7. EU and G7 tankers facilitating Russian oil exports, report finds
  8. EU trade chief in Beijing warns China of only 'two paths' forward

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. International Medical Devices Regulators Forum (IMDRF)Join regulators, industry & healthcare experts at the 24th IMDRF session, September 25-26, Berlin. Register by 20 Sept to join in person or online.
  2. UNOPSUNOPS begins works under EU-funded project to repair schools in Ukraine
  3. Georgia Ministry of Foreign AffairsGeorgia effectively prevents sanctions evasion against Russia – confirm EU, UK, USA
  4. International Medical Devices Regulators Forum (IMDRF)Join regulators & industry experts at the 24th IMDRF session- Berlin September 25-26. Register early for discounted hotel rates
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersGlobal interest in the new Nordic Nutrition Recommendations – here are the speakers for the launch
  6. Nordic Council of Ministers20 June: Launch of the new Nordic Nutrition Recommendations

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us