EU finance ministers will hold an exchange of views in Brussels on Tuesday 6 December on a proposal to suspend billions in funding for Hungary. We must increase pressure for fundamental reforms for democracy and rule of law. 

Orban’s relentless attacks on working people, women and minorities have been going on for years.  Finally, the EU is reacting. We welcome the decision to trigger the Conditionality Regulation. We call on the Council to follow the EU Commission’s recommendation to withhold EU funds totalling €13.3 billion. 

Prime Minister Orban publicly nurtures dreams of re-establishing a Greater Hungary at the expense of his neighbours and he blocks aid money for Ukraine. Orban opposes the redistribution of refugees, has blocked an oil embargo against Russia and opposes a minimum tax for corporations. In Hungary, his system relies on corruption, lack of independence of the judiciary, suppression of civil society, and limited freedom of the media.

Therefore, the Commission has to take immediate action under the Conditionality Regulation as regards other breaches of the rule of law, particularly those relating to the independence of the judiciary. We call on Hungarian authorities to solve issues related to attacks against media freedom and journalists, women’s rights, LGBTIQ people’s rights, migrants, minorities, freedom of association and assembly.

 The Commission should ensure that the final recipients or beneficiaries of EU funds are not deprived of these funds in the event that measures are applied under the Rule of Law Conditionality Mechanism. We call on the Commission to find ways to distribute EU funds via local governments and NGOs if the government concerned does not cooperate regarding deficiencies in the rule of law.

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