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Hungary asks for time and promises to apply the reforms proposed by the EU

The European Budget Commissioner, Johannes Hahn, on Sunday in Brussels. / EFE

The country works in the fight against corruption and fraud to avoid the blocking of 7,500 million European funds

The Hungarian authorities have asked the rest of the partners of the European Union (EU) for patience and have promised to apply the reforms demanded by Brussels. The Hungarian Minister of Justice, Judit Varga, has asked the Member States to be “tolerant, positive and constructive”, while assuring that the country is already working on the fight against corruption and fraud to avoid the suspension of 7,500 million European funds.

“We are fully committed to the implementation of these measures,” Varga assured upon arrival at the meeting of General Affairs ministers in Brussels. His statements come just two days after the College of Commissioners unanimously proposed the freezing of 65% of the funds of three cohesion programs for the country. The EU fears that Budapest’s anti-democratic drift encourages corruption and fraud in the management of the European budget.

The Member States have a period of one month – extendable to three – to make a decision on the suspension of these resources. This is the first time that Brussels has applied the conditionality mechanism, designed to protect the European budget. However, the commissioner in charge of the Budget, Johannes Hahn, stressed on Sunday that Hungary is working “in the right direction.”

The Hungarian Minister of Justice also defended this Tuesday the good harmony with the Community Executive during the summer, which has allowed the design of 17 measures “aimed at remedying the concerns” of Brussels. These reforms include the creation of an independent judicial authority and a body to combat corruption, among others, and “they need time to be adopted,” Varga insisted, since legislative changes are needed. In this way, she calculates that everything will be ready “by mid-November.”

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