EP insists on rule of law in Hungary

The European Parliament's two finance committees have confirmed and supported a proposal to tie EU funding to upholding the rule of law at a joint session, Eurológus reported.

At Tuesday's meeting of the European Parliament’s Budget and Budget Control Committees, the resolution was voted through 38 to 8, indicating that the EP will not let the issue go and will represent its position in inter-institutional talks.

The European Commission published its draft budget for the 2021-2027 period in May, which included a proposal to make budget allocations conditional on member states’ respect for the rule of law. Under the proposal, EU transfers could be limited or even suspended should these principles be violated, preferably in a manner that would not harm the projects of beneficiaries (most likely through direct payments circumventing national governments).

The European Parliament then adopted this position and made its own statement this April in defence of the EU budget. This included a passage about cases when a "deficiency as regards the rule of law in a Member State affects or risks affecting the principles of sound financial management or the protection of the financial interests of the Union", in particular

the proper functioning of the authorities of that Member State implementing the Union budget, in particular in the context of public procurement or grant procedures.

It is worth noting that as the commission's replies to the EP committees' questions revealed, Hungary has accepted some HUF 700 bn worth of penalties, most of which had to do with the large grant package regarding supervision over the system of public procurements.

The debate about the rule of law will now continue in inter-institutional talks, with the EC and the EP having made their positions clear, while the Council of the EU, which comprises member states, has yet to reach to a consensus. The current Finnish presidency is pushing the issue and it will be put to leaders of member states at the upcoming EU summit in December, while Hungary has repeatedly indicated that it sees no need for such a regulation as there are already mechanisms in place to deal with the issue (such as the rule of law proceedings under Article 7, which have not led anywhere beyond a formal hearing in over a year).

The Council needs to adopt an unanimous stance on the rule of law, so if no agreement is reached and a member state uses a veto, the EU will not have a budget to implement.

This article is part of the work programme titled "The impacts of EU cohesion policy in Hungary - Present and Future" which is carried out by Net Média Zrt., the publisher of Portfolio.hu, between 1st April 2019 and 31st March 2020 with European Union financing. The views in this article solely reflect the opinions of the author. The European Commission as the funding entity does not take any responsibility for the use of information presented in this article.

More in EU funds

eub európai jog jogállamisági eljárás
June 14, 2024 19:20

EU imposes colossal penalty on Hungary, government can scramble for a way out

Budapest has extremely limited options

June 13, 2024 12:10

Hungarian industrial model may be at risk - a single sentence unveils EU plan

Orbán government in for a fierce battle

June 12, 2024 09:32

EU punitive tariff on Chinese electric vehicles could be as high as 25%

Not just Hungary, but Sweden and Germany too warn about the dangers of such a move

June 12, 2024 08:54

EC does not allow high state aid to GKN Automotive's car parts plant

They found the cabinet's arguments to be unfounded

Durva választ kaphat Brüsszelből a renitens Magyarország
June 07, 2024 10:25

Brussels tries to override Hungarian veto ahead of rotating presidency takeover

Belgian Presidency pushing hard for decision on Ukraine EU accession

kijev ukrajna
June 05, 2024 09:53

Washington calls for EU sanction assistance to support Ukraine

The question is whether Hungary will put a crimp in the plan


Detailed search