EP Backs Hungary Funding Freeze

EU

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The European Parliament approved a resolution on Thursday that calls on European Union member states to adopt a proposal by the European Commission to freeze EUR 7.5 billion in EU funding for Hungary because of concerns over the rule of law, according to a report by state news wire MTI.

In the resolution, approved with a vote of 416 for, 124 against, and 33 abstentions, MEPs said 17 remedial measures negotiated by the EC and Hungary are "not sufficient to address the existing systemic risk to the EU's financial interests".

MEPs called out Hungary for "pressuring" the EC and the Council by "blocking" EUR 18 bln in financial aid to Ukraine and an agreement on the global minimum corporate tax. They also suggested Hungary is "abusing" the rule on voting by unanimity.

MEPs said final beneficiaries of EU funding should not be deprived of support "due to their government's lack of cooperation" and called on the EC to find ways to distribute EU funds "via local governments and NGOs".

They said the proposal to freeze Hungary's EU funding in the framework of the Conditionality Regulation "has been long overdue and does not go far enough" and urged the EC to take action over "other breaches of the rule of law, particularly those relating to the independence of the judiciary".

The council has until December 19 to take a decision, by a qualified majority, on the EC proposal.

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