Briefing 
 

Rule of law: Parliament to discuss proposed suspension of EU funds for Hungary  

On Tuesday, MEPs will debate the Commission’s proposal to freeze funds for Hungary to protect the EU budget over rule of law concerns in the country.

Members are likely to ask the Commission to specify which principles of the rule of law have been breached and what measures Hungary plans to take to remedy the situation. They are also set to call on the member states to not delay taking the final decision in the Council.

On 18 September, the Commission tabled a proposal for the Council to trigger the “rule of law conditionality mechanism” against Hungary and freeze 65% of the programmed EU cohesion payments (amounting to €7.5 billion) saying there were risks to the EU budget due to issues in the Hungarian public procurement system.

The Council now has one month to vote on the proposed decision by qualified majority. The voting deadline may be exceptionally pushed by up to two more months.

Background

On 15 September, the European Parliament adopted a resolution stating “that the lack of decisive EU action has contributed to a breakdown in democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights in Hungary, turning the country into a hybrid regime of electoral autocracy”.

Debate: Tuesday, 4 October

Procedure: Council and Commission statements without resolution