The European Commission is allocating cohesion funds of EUR 17.9 billion to Hungary at 2018 prices in its EU budget proposal for the period 2021-2027, about 20% less than in the previous budgetary period, the proposal published in Brussels on Tuesday shows.
The draft budget still needs approval from the European Council and the European Parliament, noted Hungarian news agency MTI.
Under the Commissionʼs proposal presented in early May, the European Unionʼs next seven-year budget would allow for commitments worth a combined EUR 1.135 trillion at 2018 prices. Some EUR 373 bln of the total is planned to be spent on narrowing the gaps between and within member states, which is less than the amount allocated for cohesion policy in the 2014-2020 period.
As the BBJ reported in late April, the Commissionʼs draft 2021-2027 budget is designed to shift EU cohesion funding away from Central and Eastern Europe to countries hit harder by the financial crisis, while shifting the criteria away from GDP per capita towards core EU values.
In May, the Commission unveiled a proposed mechanism to protect the EU budget from financial risks linked to "deficiencies regarding the rule of law" in member states. The mechanism would allow the EU to "suspend, reduce or restrict access" to EU funding "in a manner proportionate to the nature, gravity and scope of the rule of law deficiencies."
The proposal is seen as a way to sanction EU members, including Poland and Hungary, two countries which the EU has investigated in recent years for curbing the judiciaryʼs independence.