Because corruption and violations of the rule of law in Hungary, the European Commission has proposed cutting payments of around 7.5 billion euros from the EU budget to the country. This was announced by EU Budget Commissioner Johannes Hahn on Sunday in Brussels. It is the first time that the EU Commission is proposing this step due to deficiencies in the rule of law in an EU country.
The money from the EU budget is not sufficiently protected against misuse in Hungary, said the Austrian. At the same time, he acknowledged the commitments that the Hungarian government had recently made to eliminate the existing shortcomings. "Hungary has actually moved," said Hahn. In order for the country to actually cut money from the EU budget, at least 15 countries with 65 percent of the EU population would have to agree to the proposal.
Complaints from Hungary and Poland already dismissed
Ursula von der Leyen's authority had already initiated the procedure under the so-called EU rule of law mechanism in April. This has been in force since the beginning of 2021 and is intended to ensure that violations of constitutional principles such as the separation of powers no longer go unpunished. The decisive factor here is that the deficits threaten to misuse EU funds.
Because Poland and Hungary see each other as being in the spotlight, both have appealed to the European Court of Justice. However, he dismissed the lawsuits in February. Both states get billions from the common budget every year.
Hungary had recently shown some willingness to compromise with the EU Commission, but did not dispel the authority's concerns. That is why she is now taking the next step in the rule of law procedure. In addition, the authority is currently blocking several billion euros in corona aid for Hungary. It is the only country that has not yet been able to agree on a plan for the use of the money with the EU Commission.