Will the Hungarian Government Miss the €8.8 Billion EU Fund?

Will the Hungarian Government Miss the €8.8 Billion EU Fund?

The disclosure of Johannes Hahn’s letter by the Delegation of the City of Budapest Head, Benedek Jávor, puts the Hungarian government’s €8.8 Billion EU fund in jeopardy.

What did the letter say to jeopardise the hungarian government’s €8.8 billion EU fund?

Budget Commissioner Johannes Hahn’s letter was published on his Facebook page by the EU advisor of Párbeszéd, Benedek Jávor. Brussels seemed not to be pleased with anything. The Commission is unhappy with the investigation and trial procedures and likewise disapproves of the practice of agricultural land auctions.

Moreover, the letter leaked that the Hungarian government didn’t really try to provide plausible responses to disparagements. It rather defended itself, stating that the Commission must not presume about the fund’s next cycle from the fund’s utilisation of the preceding cycle, which was from 2014 to 2020.

“The main criticism is the suspected corruption of the entire public procurement system, and not only the inadequacy of the legislation (which can be quickly remedied if the government intends to do so) but also the all-encompassing nature of the managed public procurements experienced in practice pricks the Commission’s eyes,” said Jávor of what he believed about the letter.

Halting the EU fund

The €8.8 billion constitutes 70% of Hungary’s EU funds and will encompass environmental protection, transport, and settlement development projects. The European Commission explained that they implemented stringent measures because the breach of law is methodical in Hungary’s public procurement procedures. That’s why they sense that the EU’s financial management is at risk.

The Hungarian government communicated its official response to the EC’s critics on August 22 of this year. But no one has an idea what the letter says. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s administration routinely articulates its commitment to prevent corruption and check public procurements more efficiently.

The EC lauded those remarks, however, they emphasised that they want more than just stipulations. They would like to see accomplishments and not just assurances. The commission has until September 22 to decide whether to carry on with the infringement procedure against Hungary. It could mean that Hungary may miss all EU funds. EC’s cessation of the process is a better option for the Orbán cabinet.

The infringement process began in April because the European Commission considered the Hungarian government didn’t punish judicial authorities, malversation, and fraudulence. This caused huge damage to the EU budget.

Country won’t have energy shortage – Hungarian government

Meanwhile, Europe may have depleted resources, but Hungary won’t experience an energy shortage.

“This is not a prophecy but a fact. There will be enough gas and electricity in Hungary”, said PM Viktor Orbán.

Hungary’s economy has been doing well, with a yearly growth of 6.5% in Q2. This is among the loftiest economic growth rate in the EU. Unprecedented energy prices, inflation, and crop damages brought by drought will probably stifle the growth come Q3 and Q4. However, progression may still reach about 4% this year.

Image Source: Gabinho/WikimediaCommons

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