No consultation, hasty changes, “reforms” that fail to address Council recommendations: our assessment of certain reforms proposed in Hungary’s national plan under the EU’s recovery and resilience facility (RFF)
Hungary was allocated almost 5 900 Billion HUF (EUR 16.8 Billion) under the EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility (RFF): 2 500 Billion HUF (EUR 7.2 Billion) in non-refundable grants and 3 400 Billion HUF (EUR 9.6 Billion) in loans. For comparison, Hungary’s central budget for 2021 is planned with an income of 21 974 Billion HUF (EUR 62.5 Billion). Member States were to submit their detailed plans for the use of the Facility until 30 April 2021, following meaningful public consultations. The Hungarian plan was published on 16 April 2021, thus leaving two weeks for the assessment of the 430-page long document pertaining to 5 900 Billion HUF. On 23 April, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán visited European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to discuss, among others, Hungary’s RFF plan, but no details emerged after the meeting. Two days later, the Minister heading the Prime Minister’s Office briefly stated in an interview that Hungary was not going to submit a plan for the entire RFF budget. Instead, the Government’s proposal would only cover the non-refundable part of the Facility. The “consultation” on the plan was closed five days later, on 30 April. On 12 May, the Government announced that it had submitted its plan to the Commission. On 17 May, Parliament was set to begin debating the related amendment of Hungary’s budget for 2021; two minutes prior to the beginning of the session, the new, 391-page long document was published.
Notwithstanding the absurdity that the “consultation” was carried out about a plan the Government itself announced would never be submitted to the European Commission, the Hungarian Helsinki Committee sent detailed comments on the component it has competence in.
The English version of the detailed comments of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee is available here.