BRUSSELS - The European Union (EU) Commission will continue to propose to suspend some of the EU funds to Hungary as officials think prime minister Viktor Orbán's government has failed to implement all the previously agreed rule of law and anti-corruption measures, according to people familiar with the discussions.
The commission is expected to make the formal decision next Wednesday (30 November), and is poised to conclude that Hungary did not make enough progress on the 17 measures it had agreed with the commission in September.
There’s encouraging news that the European Commission may be holding the line in dealing with the authoritarian government in EU member Hungary.
If fresh reports are correct, the Commission seems likely to determine that Budapest has not adopted necessary rule-of-law reforms, and, as a result, billions in frozen EU funds will continue to be withheld.
This is rightly seen as a crucial test of the EU’s willingness to stand up for its values.
Hungary has been falling deeper and deeper into the anti-democratic abyss for years, with the government under Viktor Orbán using every trick to expand his and his party’s power.
Despite the European Parliament sometimes pushing hard for action, the real drivers of EU policy – member state leaders and the executive European Commission – did too little or nothing to stop Hungary becoming an authoritarian state in the heart of Europe.
In September, the Commission demanded the country address its rule-of-law crisis, as well as corruption in public procurement, if it wanted to see those EU funds.