An opinion piece published in Sweden’s top-selling daily, Dagens Nyheter, on Hungary’s access to EU funds does a great job listing all the tired, groundless accusations we’ve been facing from our left-liberal political opponents in the last 12 years. You’ll find everything in there from press freedom and rule of law to the independence of the judiciary. It’s a great list, I got to give them that.
Except that most of these issues have either already been resolved or are part of the 17-point list of requirements, put together by the European Commission, that Hungary committed to fulfilling in order to secure its share of common EU funding. And we did not only commit ourselves, but also delivered.
Here’s a short list of the most important new measures Hungary took to secure the funds:
- An Integrity Authority has been established to intervene in all cases where competent authorities have not taken the necessary steps to prevent, detect and correct fraud, conflicts of interest, corruption and other irregularities that have or may have an effect on the implementation of EU financial support.
- An Anti-Corruption Task Force has also been convened. The Task Force is chaired by the chair of the Integrity Authority and operates with the participation of an equal number of governmental and non-governmental actors.
- We amended the Code of Criminal Procedure and established a procedure concerning special criminal offenses related to the exercise of public authority and the management of public property.
- We clarified that asset management foundations operating in the public interest fall under the scope of public procurement obligations and adopted legislation to ensure full compliance with the EU Financial Regulation regarding conflict-of-interest rules.
- By the end of the year, we will reduce the share of public procurement tender procedures financed wholly or partially from EU funds with single bids to below 15 percent.
I could go on; the list is extensive. But, of course, you won’t find these details in Dagens Nyheter, or really any other left-leaning, liberal news outlet. Simply because it’s not in their interest to tell you the truth. Truth doesn’t sell papers; apparently, participating in the decade-long European witch hunt against Hungary does.
Ultimately, it’s not an option that Hungary’s access to EU funds remains entirely blocked. That money is due to us. It’s in the Treaties, and Brussels understands that better than anyone. Should it come to an 18th or even 19th requirement, Hungary will certainly do everything to meet them, as we always have.
Constructive dialogue and conflict resolution between the European Commission and national governments form the backbone of the EU, and we’ve always honored that. Attention-seeking, ill-informed journalism, on the other hand, gravely undermines good intentions on both sides and therefore must be rooted out completely.