EU lawmakers to sue European Commission over funds for Hungary — RT World News

Ursula von der Leyen previously freed up over €10 billion to secure Budapest's support to aid Ukraine.

The European Parliament intends to sue the European Commission over its decision late last year to unfreeze billions of euros in Hungary's cohesion funds.

In December, the European Union released 10.2 billion euros (just over $11 billion) in frozen funds, after announcing that Budapest had made progress in strengthening its financial capabilities. “Independence of the judiciary.”

The move came ahead of a European Council meeting scheduled to discuss a €50 billion military aid package for Ukraine, which Budapest had been blocking, in addition to the opening of EU membership talks with Kiev.

On Thursday, European Parliament party leaders agreed to file a lawsuit before the European Court of Justice, in a move the Financial Times reported. “can be held” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is seeking a second term as Commission president this year.

European Parliament President Roberta Mizzola has reportedly said that she will file a lawsuit against the European Commission before March 25.

“We want to make sure that taxpayers' money is handled in accordance with the treaties. This is not a political issue for the EPP [European People’s Party]“This is not an election issue – we just want to have legal clarity.” said Petri Sarvama, EPP spokesman in the Budget Committee.

However, he noted that the decision to provide funds was made by the entire Board of Commissioners, not just the president himself.

The European Commission denied these allegations, as stated by its spokesman Christian Wiegand “The Commission considers that it acted in full compliance with EU law and will defend its decision before the EU courts.”

Von der Leyen's decision to unfreeze funds to Budapest was met with a backlash from MEPs at the time, who accused her of kowtowing to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. The Hungarian leader had explicitly announced that his country would not abandon its opposition to financing Ukraine unless Brussels unfroze the funds owed to Budapest. Orban has repeatedly claimed that Brussels' assistance to Kiev has not yielded tangible results in the conflict with Russia.

At the end of 2022, the European Union froze 22 billion euros ($23 billion) intended for Hungary, citing concerns about the independence of judges and Budapest's alleged violations of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights on issues such as immigration, LGBT rights and academic freedom. .

This month, the European Union released another tranche of previously frozen funding to Hungary, citing Budapest's alleged progress on gender equality. The decision came just days after Hungary voted to ratify Sweden's application to join NATO.

The EU still holds around €19 billion of funding originally allocated to Hungary, half of which includes coronavirus recovery grants and the rest consisting of coronavirus recovery grants. “Cohesion Funds” Distributed to cluster members.

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