Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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EU intends to unlock Hungary’s frozen funds in exchange for Ukraine support

The European Union is considering giving Hungary billions of euros, which have been frozen over rule-of-law concerns, in exchange for Budapest’s approval for aid to Ukraine, including negotiations over Kyiv’s membership, Euractiv reports.

Hungary is developing closer ties with Russia than other EU states and is seen as the main potential opponent of the decision to negotiate accession talks with Kyiv, which requires unanimous support from the bloc’s 27 members.

The EU Executive Commission is also proposing to force member states to contribute more to the general coffers to help boost funding for Ukraine in its war against Russia.

A senior EU official told Reuters that the bloc hopes to influence the vote in Hungary by revising the status of EU benefits worth billions of euros frozen due to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s restriction on the court independence.

I can’t imagine Hungary agreeing without there first being a solution to the blocked funds.

Another EU official confirmed the link between the allocation of funds to Hungary and EU plans requiring unanimity, including in enlargement and budget negotiations.

A third EU official announced that a sum of 13 billion euros was being discussed.

However, the sources emphasised that the deal depended heavily on Orbán, who was facing economic difficulties and a growing domestic budget deficit.

“Hungary needs the money urgently, which is an incentive for reform. The Commission needs Hungary to lift its vetoes on a number of issues in return. But I don’t think the Commission will or can move without any movement on reforms from Budapest.”


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