“Unsuitable country”: European Parliament opposes Hungary’s EU presidency – media
The European Parliament is preparing to adopt a resolution in which it will express dissatisfaction with the actions of Budapest.
In the second half of 2024, the presidency of the European Union was supposed to pass to Hungary. However, the bloc has already begun to resist this. The European Parliament is expected to pass a resolution next week arguing that Hungary is “unfit” to preside over the bloc, writes Benjamin Fox in an op-ed for EurActiv.
In the second half of 2023, Sweden will hand over the presidency of the bloc to Spain. Six months later, the presidency will pass to Belgium, and, in the end, in mid-2024, to Hungary.
However, mutual distrust and political disputes between the countries of the bloc and Hungary are intensifying. Against this background, the European Parliament, which, although it does not have the power to deprive a member state of the right to assume the presidency, is preparing to adopt a resolution in which it will express dissatisfaction with the actions of Budapest. The draft resolution notes that the government of Viktor Orban is prone to “systemic corruption” and is “unsuitable” for the chairmanship of the bloc.
Orban rejects any accusations from the countries of the bloc.
“The same old, annoying accusations that Hungary is violating the basic principles of the EU and therefore cannot preside,” said Zoltan Kovacs, a spokesman for the Hungarian government.
As you know, every six months the EU presidency passes from one country to another. The presiding country leads the work in the Council of the EU and represents all 27 member states in negotiations with other institutions of the bloc. The last time Hungary presided over the bloc was in 2011, shortly after Orban returned to the post of prime minister after a years-long hiatus.
Limitation of financing of Hungary by the European Union – what you need to know
Hungary, which has been a member of the EU since 2004, has differences of opinion with other countries in the bloc on a wide range of issues, including the war in Ukraine and sanctions against Russia. The country is regularly accused of departing from European values and corruption.
One of the bloc’s ways of putting pressure on Budapest is to restrict funding. Payments of several tens of billions of euros have already been frozen. In particular, on November 30, 2022, the European Commission proposed not to allocate 7.2 billion euros to Hungary from the European Union as part of the “Hungary Recovery and Resilience Plan”. It also blocked the allocation of part of the funds for the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, which should have been allocated to Hungary at its request. The European Commission, commenting on such actions, noted that “those who do not understand values may understand money.”
After Brussels resorted to financial pressure, the anti-European rhetoric of Viktor Orban, whose government is financially dependent on EU aid, has only intensified.
In particular, on the eve of the Hungarian leader blamed the European Union for the economic downturn and questioned its existence. The reason for such accusations by the Hungarian prime minister was, in particular, the support of Ukraine with weapons and money.