Brussels, Nov 30 (EFE).- The European Commission approved a 5.8 billion-euro recovery fund for Hungary on Wednesday, but said the payment would not be issued until Budapest implements anti-corruption measures.
The approval of the recovery budget and the request to freeze additional funds comes after protracted negotiations with Hungary’s prime minister Viktor Orban that have lasted over a year.
The EC proposed that EU member states withhold some 7.5 billion euros from regional programs given to poorer countries within the bloc until the required measures are implemented.
“While a number of reforms have been undertaken or are underway, Hungary failed to adequately implement central aspects of the necessary” measures “as it had committed to,” the EC said in a statement.
The so-called conditionality mechanism was triggered after Brussels identified deficiencies relating to the rule of law, the fight against corruption, problems regarding judicial independence and transparency over how EU subsidies are distributed in Hungary.
“Hungary has committed to significant reforms. Only once these reforms are implemented in full will access to the EU’s recovery fund be unlocked,” said EC vice president Valdis Dombrovskis.
Budapest had committed to implementing the measures by November 19, but the EC said it had not found that “enough” progress had been made and urged the Hungarian government to “fully and correctly” implement 27 “super milestones” reforms.
“When put into effect, this wide-ranging plan should create jobs and growth and make Hungary’s economy more inclusive and resilient for years to come,” said Dombrovskis.
The EC council has until December 19 to vote on the commission’s proposal. EFE