Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban during a press conference during the meeting of the Visegrad Group (V4) Prime Ministers in Prague, Czech Republic, 27 February 2023. EPA-EFE/MARTIN DIVISEK


EU unblocks about €2 billion from suspended funding for Hungary


Hungary managed to unblock about €2 billion in European Union funds as Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government made further progress in the recovery of crucial financing.

The European Commission unlocked the latest tranche after Hungary met so-called thematic conditions relating to educational training and gender equality, Stefan de Keersmaecker, a spokesman for the EU’s executive arm, said by phone on Friday.

While the funds are part of the more than €30 billion the EU decided to withhold from Hungary more than a year ago, the conditions Budapest met were unrelated to concerns about the rule of law or corruption, which had been the main drivers behind the financing freeze.

The EU unblocked €10.2 billion of funds in December after Hungary met the bloc’s demands to strengthen judicial independence. With the most recent decision, the amount of funds the EU continues to withhold from Hungary dropped to about €19 billion, de Keersmaecker said. About half of that are Covid-recovery grants and loans and the other half are so-called cohesion funds.

Hungarian business news website Portfolio was first to report about the release of the latest tranche.