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COM Approves Unblocking Some EU Funds; PM Could Veto Ukraine Support


The European Commission has approvedHungary's modified recovery and resilience plan, setting the stage for Budapest to receive previously-frozen EU funds. Bloomberg reports: "Once the expected decision is approved by EU finance ministers [next ECOFIN meeting 8 Dec], the Hungarian government could access as much as 20% of the additional €3.9 billion in loans and €700 million in grants requested to finance its REPowerEU chapter, [...]. The amount of funds released would likely amount to €920 million."

  • It should be noted that a far greater sum under the COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) remains frozen, with the Commission writing: "The 27 “super milestones” to ensure the protection of the Union's financial interests, and to strengthen judicial independence, remain unchanged in Hungary's revised plan. This means that no disbursement following a payment request under the RRF is possible until Hungary has satisfactorily implemented these “super milestones."
  • While ostensibly unrelated, the Commission's decision to approve Hungary's plan comes at the same time as Politico reportingthat Hungarian PM Viktor Orban has written to European Council President Charles Michel stating that Budapest will block all further EU support for Ukraine as well as the opening of accession talks with Kyiv until the Union holds a “strategic discussion” on its entire stance towards the war in Ukraine.

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