EU hits Hungary as never-before-used punishment to CUT vital funds | World | News
The EU executive confirmed on Wednesday that it had given the green light to trigger the rule of law mechanism against Hungary, which could see Budapest lose crucial EU funds. This is the first time that the Commission has made such a strong gesture against a Member State.
The mechanism was introduced in recent years to combat the misuse of EU funds by EU states, something Hungary has repeatedly been accused of in recent years.
Despite years of criticism from rights campaigners that he was funneling EU funds to his associates, Viktor Orban won a fourth consecutive election victory earlier this month.
The European Commission reacted by launching its new sanction tool.
Vera Jourova, Deputy Director of the Brussels-based Commission, said: “We have identified issues that could violate the rule of law in Hungary and affect the EU budget.
“Hungary will have to respond to our concerns and propose corrective measures.”
Commenting on the news, Green MEP Daniel Freund wrote: “Soon the funding for the corrupt Orbans autocracy will run out. FINALLY !!
“BIG BIG success for the European Parliament.”
MEP and EPP Vice-President Petri Sarvamaa echoed: “Historic day today.
“The European Commission is finally taking action against the rule of law violations it has identified in Hungary to protect the #EUbudget.
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Social Democrat MEP Marianne Vind also welcomed the news. She wrote: “Finally! The European Commission will initiate proceedings against #Ungarn for violation of the rule of law.
“I couldn’t come a moment too soon.
“The EP has had to appeal to this for too long.
“Incompatible to no longer be a democracy and at the same time to receive European funds!”
The Hungarian government has not yet responded.