Hungary loses Norwegian funds amid growning RoL concerns

Int’l Relations

Hungary formally lost access to more than EUR 200 million (HUF 72 billion) in grants from Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein amid growing concerns about the country's democratic backsliding, reported news portal

The move came after Hungary was unable to reach a deal with the three countries — the only non-EU members of the European Economic Area — over how the funds would be disbursed.

Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein fund programs in 15 countries to help reduce social and economic disparities across Europe.

According to the report, the dispute underscores a dilemma that policymakers face across Europe — how to fund programs for Hungarian citizens while ensuring those distributing the money are sufficiently independent of political pressures. And it reflects broader concerns that Budapest is eroding basic democratic norms in Hungary, creating political pressure on the EU to cut off some of its own funding to the country.

In disbursing their own grants, the three countries insist that a segment of civil society funding be administered by an entity chosen through an open call, where candidates are vetted on competence, expertise, and management capacity. While the Hungarian government originally agreed to the selection criteria, the Norwegian government says Budapest ultimately objected to the chosen candidate.

"When the government cannot agree on the basic principle that we agree with all other 14 beneficiary countries about, then we have to draw the line," said Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Marie Eriksen Søreide, whose country provides 95% of the funds. Søreide, a member of Norway's Conservative Party, said the funding is a voluntary contribution — lamenting the loss of funds for Hungarian civil society groups. 


Hungary to Expand Gripen Fleet With 4 Aircraft Analysis

Hungary to Expand Gripen Fleet With 4 Aircraft

Lawmakers to Vote Monday on New President Parliament

Lawmakers to Vote Monday on New President

High-tech Ratio in Hungarian Industry Rising Innovation

High-tech Ratio in Hungarian Industry Rising

Hungarians Prioritizing Travel Over Renovations This Year Tourism

Hungarians Prioritizing Travel Over Renovations This Year


Producing journalism that is worthy of the name is a costly business. For 27 years, the publishers, editors and reporters of the Budapest Business Journal have striven to bring you business news that works, information that you can trust, that is factual, accurate and presented without fear or favor.
Newspaper organizations across the globe have struggled to find a business model that allows them to continue to excel, without compromising their ability to perform. Most recently, some have experimented with the idea of involving their most important stakeholders, their readers.
We would like to offer that same opportunity to our readers. We would like to invite you to help us deliver the quality business journalism you require. Hit our Support the BBJ button and you can choose the how much and how often you send us your contributions.