MEPs Weigh Legal Action on Release of Hungary's EU Funding

EU

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The European Parliament adopted a resolution on Thursday mandating a legal review of a decision by the European Commission to unlock more than EUR 10 billion of Hungary's European Union funding, according to a report by state news wire MTI.

"Parliament will look into whether legal action should be pursued to overturn the decision to partially unfreeze funds and notes that it can use an array of legal and political measures if the Commission is in breach of its duties as the guardian of the Treaties and to protect the EU's financial interests," the EP said after the resolution was approved with a vote of 345 for, 104 against and 29 abstentions.

The EUR 10 billion in funding was released after the EC acknowledged remedial measures Hungary had taken regarding the independence of its judiciary, but the remaining EUR 20 bln stayed frozen because of concerns regarding LGBTIQ rights, academic freedom, and asylum rights.

In the resolution approved on Thursday, MEPs said measures required for the release of EU funding should be treated as a single package, and that no payment should be made if deficiencies persisted in any area.

The MEPs called on the European Council to determine whether Hungary has committed "serious and persistent breaches of EU values" under the Article 7(2) procedure.

They also condemned the actions of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán for blocking a revision of the EU budget containing an aid package for Ukraine "in full disrespect and violation of the EU's strategic interests" and questioned whether the Hungarian government would be able to "credibly fulfill" tasks when it takes over the revolving presidency of the Council of the EU in the second half of 2024.

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