| 31 January 2023, Tuesday |

Hungary to submit new laws to unlock EU funds next week, says PM aide

Hungary’s government will submit new laws to parliament next week to end a stand-off with the European Commission and unlock access to European Union funds, Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s chief of staff said on Saturday.

The EU executive will recommend suspending billions of euros earmarked for Hungary over corruption concerns, two officials told Reuters on Wednesday, in what would be the first such move against Orban.

On Thursday, a large majority of EU lawmakers voted to condemn damage to democracy in Hungary under veteran Orban, in power since 2010, stepping up pressure on the bloc to cut funding for the ex-communist country.

Hoping to end the stalemate that has pressured the forint and bond markets, Budapest has announced that it would create an anti-corruption authority and a working group with non-government groups to oversee the spending of EU funds.

The new laws are scheduled to take effect in November, which Gulyas said could mark the end of punitive action against Hungary, with access to billions of euros hanging in the balance.

  • Reuters