HomePoliticsEU moves to cut...

EU moves to cut money for Hungary over “breaches of rule of law”


(Reuters)

The European Union executive recommended on Sunday suspending some 7.5 billion euros in funding for Hungary over corruption, the first such case in the 27-nation bloc under a new sanction meant to better protect the rule of law.

The EU introduced the new financial sanction two years ago precisely in response to what it says amounts to the undermining of democracy in Poland and Hungary, where Prime Minister Viktor Orban subdued courts, media, NGOs and academia, as well as restricting the rights of migrants, gays and women during more than a decade in power.

“It’s about breaches of the rule of law compromising the use and management of EU funds,” said EU Budget Commissioner Johannes Hahn. “We cannot conclude that the EU budget is sufficiently protected.”

He highlighted systemic irregularities in Hungary’s public procurement laws, insufficient safeguards against conflicts of interest, weaknesses in effective prosecution and shortcomings in other anti-graft measures.

Hahn said the Commission was recommending the suspension of about a third of cohesion funds envisaged for Hungary from the bloc’s shared budget for 2021-27 worth a total of 1.1 trillion euros.

The 7.5 billion euros in question amounts to 5% of the country’s estimated 2022 GDP. EU countries now have up to three months to decide on the proposal.

Hahn said Hungary’s latest promise to address EU criticisms was a significant step in the right direction but must still be translated into new laws and practical actions before the bloc would be reassured.

Read also: Strong earthquake hits southeastern Taiwan, building collapses

CORRUPTION

Orban’s government proposed creating a new anti-graft agency in recent weeks as Budapest came under pressure to secure money for the ailing economy and forint, the worst-performing currency in the EU’s east.

Orban, who calls himself a freedom fighter against the world view of the liberal West, denies that Hungary – an ex-communist country of some 10 million people – is any more corrupt than others in the EU.

The Commission is already blocking some 6 billion euros in funds envisaged for Hungary in a separate COVID economic recovery stimulus over the same corruption concerns.

Reuters documented in 2018 how Orban channels EU development funds to his friends and family, a practice human rights organisations say has immensely enriched his inner circle and allowed the 59-year-old to entrench himself in power.

Hungary had irregularities in nearly 4% of EU funds spending in 2015-2019, according to the bloc’s anti-fraud body OLAF, by far the worst result among the 27 EU countries.

Orban has also rubbed many in the bloc the wrong way by cultivating continued close ties with President Vladimir Putin and threatening to deny EU unity needed to impose and preserve sanctions on Russia for waging war against Ukraine.

- A word from our sponsors -

spot_img

Most Popular

More from Author

NFF writes FIFA, wants elections postponed

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has written to the Federation...

Diri, INC resolve Tompolo, Asari, Ateke rift

From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa and Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, AbujaBayelsa State governor,...

I’ll ensure free medical services to 100m poor Nigerians

By Chinelo Obogo and Adanna Nnamani, AbujaPresidential candidate of the...

Without power, Africa can’t develop

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has disclosed that without adequate electric...

- A word from our sponsors -

spot_img

Read Now

NFF writes FIFA, wants elections postponed

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has written to the Federation of International Football (FIFA) in a fresh bid to postpone the forthcoming election slated for September 30. In the letter signed by General Secretary, Muhammed Sanusi, the football body is accusing the Federal Government of interfering in...

Diri, INC resolve Tompolo, Asari, Ateke rift

From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa and Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, AbujaBayelsa State governor, Douye Diri, alongside leaders of  the Ijaw National Congress (INC) and other stakeholders have waded into the controversy arising from the N48 billion pipeline surveillance contract awarded by the Federal Government to Chief Government Ekpemupolo, also...

I’ll ensure free medical services to 100m poor Nigerians

By Chinelo Obogo and Adanna Nnamani, AbujaPresidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Mr. Peter Obi, has promised to ensure that 100 million poor Nigerians have access to free medical services through an integrated health insurance scheme if elected.He spoke  at Success Conference in Abakiliki, Ebonyi...

Without power, Africa can’t develop

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has disclosed that without adequate electric power, all efforts and energy to develop Africa economically and socially, will not materialise. Obasanjo and other world leaders spoke on Friday during the FIN International Trade and Investment Forum, a side line event at United Nations...

PFN disowns Bishops for holding meeting with Tinubu

From Noah Ebije, Kaduna, Paul Orude Bauchi, Godwin Tsa, Abuja and Gyang Bere, JosThe Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) has disowned the “Pentecostal Bishops Forum of Northern Nigeria” for holding meeting with Bola Tinubu, presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).Deputy National Secretary of the...

7 burnt in Lagos road accident

By Emma NjokuNo fewer than seven people lost their lives yesterday when a commercial bus reportedly caught fire in the Iyana Oworo area of Lagos State.Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Dr Olufemi Damilola Oke-Osanyintolu, who made the disclosure in a statement, yesterday, said...

Senate, PDP set for showdown on INEC nominees

From Fred Itua and Ndubuisi Orji, AbujaThe Senate and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) may be heading for a showdown on plans by the upper legislative chamber to confirm five residents electoral commissioners (RECs), accused of belonging to All Progressives Congress (APC).In separate interviews with Daily Sun,...

Over 60 customers emerge winners in Dangote cement N1bn

The Dangote Industries adjudged the ‘Most Valuable Brand’ in Nigeria for its ability to deliver on its promises to consumers of its products continues to live up to the mandate, as over 50 winners have emerged as instant Mmllionaires of Dangote Cement Plc. in the North East. A...

Gunmen kill 2 traders in Kano

From Desmond Mgboh, KanoFresh fear has enveloped the Sabon – Gari area of the metropolitan part of Kano State, following the killing of two Igbo traders by some yet to be identified gunmen.The deceased are Ifeanyi Elechukwu, aged 41, who probably was the target of the...

Day Abiriba community staged one million man

From Okey Sampson, UmuahiaMonday, September 12, will remain evergreen in the minds of those who want change from the old order in the nation’s political landscape. It was the day and the first in Abia, that the entire Abiriba community in Ohafia Local Government Area of...

Julius Berger commences repair works on 75 km Abuja-

Julius Berger Nigeria Plc has begun an immediate emergency repair around Kilometre 75 Abuja – Kaduna expressway. This is in response to the hardship caused by the deplorable condition of that portion of the highway.The construction company is currently reconstructing the 376-kilometer Abuja-Kano Road (AKR) and...

SERAP sues Buhari, Malami over failure to

Socio–Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has filed a lawsuit against President Muhammadu Buhari over “the failure to publish copy and details of the agreement the Federal Government recently signed with the United States for the repatriation of $23 million stolen by the late dictator Sani...