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The European Commission won’t approve the Hungarian plan for post-epidemic recovery this year, according to the vice-president of the body responsible for economic affairs.

Speaking to reporters after a meeting of the council of finance ministers in the Member States for the last time in 2021, Valdis Dombrovskis said it was unlikely that Hungary’s proposals would receive a favorable rating from the Brussels board this year.

The delay means that Hungary will no longer receive a 13% advance this year on its 2.5 trillion Ft. (US $7.77 billion) subsidy from the EU. If the Hungarian plan gets the green light next year, this money will not be lost, but different conditions will be attached to it. While the 2021 amount could be disbursed without any preconditions, from 2022 it can only be attached to specific commitments.

Dombrovskis did not reveal anything new about talks between Brussels and Budapest that had been going on for several months, but reiterated that the EU expects its recommendations to be met on the fight against corruption, the predictability, quality, and transparency of decision-making, and reliable monitoring of how EU funds are spent.

The politician also stated that, like Hungary, Poland is also unlikely to meet this year’s deadline, and negotiations will be ongoing next year in Warsaw.

The Economic and Financial Affair Council has so far adopted recovery plans for 22 Member States and paid a total of €54.2 billion (US $61.5 billion) in advances to 18 Member States.

[Népszava]

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By Steven N.

Steven is the editor-in-chief of Hungarian Politics. He has been following the political scene in Hungary and the Central European region more or less since 1994.