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Members of the European Parliament call on Commission President Ursula von der Leyen not to give in to the pressure of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who “blocked the most important EU legislative matters in order to get money and force Brussels to give up the rule of law dispute with Budapest”, reported the Politico.

The European Commission is preparing to pay 5.8 (2,366 billion forints) billion euros to the Hungarian government from the jointly raised EU epidemic recovery funds, and is working on a compromise agreement on the rule of law conditions, because if this fails, Hungary will receive 7.5 billion euros (HUF 3,060 billion) would fall from EU funds.

EP representative: Whoever believes in the Hungarian anti-corruption reform also believes in Santa Claus

The draft resolution of the European People’s Party, the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, Renew, the Greens and the Left to be voted on on Thursday, obtained by Politico

points to concerns about corruption and kleptocracy, despite Budapest’s pledge to be transparent and respect the rule of law.

The Hungarian government’s promises “are not sufficient to manage the systemic risk threatening the EU’s financial interests,” reads the text of the draft. The Parliament also emphasizes that “the risk of misuse of funds from the Recovery and Resilience Instrument” is still very real and calls on the committee “not to approve Hungary’s plan until it fully complies with all the requirements of the Court of Justice of the European Union , the judgment aimed at restoring the rule of law”.

Sophie in ‘t Veld, MEP from Renew Europe, told Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders at Monday’s plenary session:

Anyone who believes that Viktor Orbán is serious about anti-corruption reform also believes in Santa Claus.

Rule of law criteria – milestones

According to Reynders, Hungary received information from Budapest about the 17 anti-corruption reforms implemented so far by the deadline of November 19, and will immediately finalize its evaluation. After that, he hands over the “hot porridge” to the council, which has until December 19 to accept, modify or reject the committee’s proposal to reduce Hungary’s resources by 7.5 billion euros with a qualified majority.

As for the recovery fund, Reynders said that the committee plans to decide on Hungary’s proposal “as soon as possible”, and that he will tie the disbursement of the funds to anti-corruption reforms and the fulfillment of so-called milestones related to the independence of the judiciary.

(Cover photo: Viktor Orbán in Brussels on June 24, 2022. Photo: Benko Vivien Cher / Prime Minister’s Press Office / MTI)