Justice Minister Judit Varga briefed the ambassadors of European Union member states to Hungary on Thursday morning about the 17 commitments the country has made to access European Union funding, fulfilling all deadlines and content requirements of the European Commission. The meeting was proposed by Czech Ambassador Tibor Bial, Minister Varga said in a video posted on Facebook. The government is currently awaiting the EC’s official assessment, she said. “I also informed the diplomats that we will implement the amendments on judicial issues by 31 March, based on the timeline agreed with the Commission,” the justice minister said in her English-language post.
Meanwhile, Tibor Navracsics said EU approval of Hungary’s recovery plan as reported in the press “is a big step forward”. The minister for regional development said it appeared that by the end of the year Hungary would be able to conclude agreements with the European Commission, and Hungary would not lose its EU funding. Hungary, he added, had met the 17 requirements stipulated by the European Commission, and a pre-determined schedule for changing the power structure between the National Judicial Council and the National Judicial Office with a March 31 deadline was on course.
Navracsics said the government had not received official notification of the EC decision. However, press reports indicating that the commission may suspend the payment of 65% of funding for the operational programmes implied that payments would be delayed rather than resources would be lost. A deal on the partnership agreement “will be reached by the end of the year”, he said. Press reports indicate that the EC will recommend the adoption of Hungary's recovery plan, he said, adding that reports of its position did not amount to “anything new”. The minister said every step stipulated as part of the conditionality procedure had been carried out by the government in cooperation with the EC.