|Author (Corporate)||European Commission: DG Budget|
|Series Details||COM (2022) 485|
|Content Type||Blog & Commentary, News, Policy-making|
Proposal for a Council Implementing Decision - tabled by the European Commission on 18 September 2022 - concerning measures for the protection of the budget of the European Union (EU) against breaches of the principles of the rule of law in Hungary.
Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2020/2092 established a general regime of conditionality for the protection of the EU budget. It provides that appropriate measures shall be taken where it is established in accordance with Article 6 that breaches of the principles of the rule of law in a Member State affect or seriously risk affecting the sound financial management of the Union budget or the protection of the financial interests of the Union in a sufficiently direct way.
In November 2021, the European Commission sent a request for information to Hungary pursuant of Article 6(4) of the Conditionality Regulation to which the Hungarian authorities replies in January 2022. In April 2022, the Commission sent a written notification to Hungary which presented the findings regarding a number of issues concerning the public procurement system in the country; a high rate of single bidding procedures and low intensity of competition in procurement procedures; issues related to the use of framework agreements; issues in the detection, prevention and correction of conflicts of interest; concerns related to the use of EU funding by public interest trusts. The notification also presented findings regarding investigation and prosecution, and the anti-corruption framework.
In June 2022, Hungary replied to the notification. Further information was later also provided by the Hungarian authorities. However, the Commission considered that the first reply and the additional letters did not contain adequate remedial measures appropriately committed in the context of the Conditionality Regulation. On 20 July, the Commissions sent a letter to Hungary to inform of its assessment and of the measures it envisaged to propose for adoption by the Council of the European Union in the absence of adequate remedial measures. Hungary replied to that letter on 22 August criticising the procedure and contesting the proportionality of the measures.
Even so, a number of remedial measures were presented and technical discussions have taken place. Further commitment were established by the Hungarian authorities in a letter sent to the Commission on 13 September. The Commission's conclusion was that the proposed measures could in principle address the issues if correctly detailed in relevant laws and rules, and implemented accordingly. Pending the fulfilment of key implementation steps, the Commission considered that a risk for the EU budget remained. This explains the draft Council Implementing Decision tabled on 18 September 2022.
|Subject Categories||Economic and Financial Affairs, Law, Values and Beliefs|
|Subject Tags||EU Budget, Rule of Law|
|Countries / Regions||Hungary|
|International Organisations||European Union [EU]|