Economy Hungary

Hungary may receive billion euros from EU

| 2023-11-26 2 min read

Hungary may receive billion euros from EU

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The European Commission (EC) proposed a shortcut for Hungary to nearly EUR 1bn from its revised national recovery plan on Thursday 23 November.

The plan details spending for the EU’s one-off supplementary recovery fund, which, like most EU member states, the Hungarian government began to revise in August. The EC approved several country plans last week.

A vote of EU member state’s finance ministers on the EC’s proposal scheduled for 8 December is expected to be a formality.

Hungary could receive EUR 460mn in February, as an advance payment of up to 20% is not linked to ‘super milestones’. A similar payment would be paid in December 2024.

The total amount of funding Hungary could receive from the recovery fund is EUR 10.4bn, including a non-refundable grant of EUR 700mn via the REPowerEU scheme. Of Hungary’s EUR 4.6bn adjustment, EUR 3.9bn would be in the form of loans.

Hungary makes glacial progress on unfreezing funds

Although this represents Hungary’s first such progress in 2023, amid ongoing disputes involving considerably larger amounts, the EC’s proposal does not indicate whether the EU considers its conditions as having been met.

To date, Hungary has not received any recovery fund payments, due to EU concerns about issues such as the rule of law. The EU has set 27 ‘super milestones’ for Hungary’, addressing matters including a judicial reform package.

Most of Hungary’s EUR 22bn cohesion funding from the regular budget is blocked, with an EC focus on judicial reform made by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government.

On 15 December, the EC will review Hungary’s progress on the 17 rule-of-law issues that need to be solved to unlock EUR 6.3bn. These and the judicial package make up the 27 super milestones. 

Ex-EU official Navracsics downbeat on RRF funding

Hungarian Regional Development Minister Tibor Navracsics, a former EC commissioner, has already stated that the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) conditions cannot be met. 

Disputes about university funding are also ongoing, Hungarian website Telex reported. An agreement on the EU’s Erasmus university exchange programme has still not been concluded due to a lack of transparency and potential conflicts of interest regarding trust funds at 21 recently reformed Hungarian universities.

In recent months Hungary’s educational institutions have also complained of exclusion from lucrative Horizon Europe research programmes.