Fact Check: EU Did NOT Freeze Hungarian Funds Because They Don't Accept Migrants


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Fact Check: EU Did NOT Freeze Hungarian Funds Because They Don't Accept Migrants Not Related

Has the EU suspended funding to Hungary due to its refusal to accept migrants? No, that's not true: The EU Commission has implemented a mechanism of rule of law conditionality for reasons pertaining to the rule of law.

The claim appeared in a video (archived here) posted on Tiktok by Daniel Bohar, an influencer on 18.05.2023. under the title "If we don't accept migrants we won't receive EU money!" The video is a short interview with MEP Daniel Freund who says:

In that sense no migration, no one into the country, would lead pretty directly to no EU funds.

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

TikTok screenshot

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Thu May 25 15:57:24 2023 UTC)

The EU Commission initiated the rule of law conditionality procedure against Hungary in 2022 and continues to hold back a 6.3 billion EUR Resilience and Recovery Fund from the country, as Hungary has only taken partial remedial action since the start of the procedure. These conditions were imposed to ensure compliance with the principles and standards of the rule of law within the European Union.

The freeze on funds to Hungary is not solely due to its strict stance on migration but rather stems from systemic irregularities, deficiencies, and weaknesses in public procurement, the Hungarian public interest trusts, irregularities in prosecution, and the absence of a comprehensive anti-corruption strategy. The total budget Hungary agreed upon with the Commission for the 2021-2027 period was 22 billion EUR.

The video supports the claim with an interview with MEP Daniel Freund, who says that "In that sense, no migration, no one into the country would lead pretty directly to no EU funds." The soundbite does not sound like a complete sentence, but rather like the end of one. It seems like Freund was giving an interview with Daniel Bohar, but no other version of the interview could be found.

The Green MEP traveled to Hungary as a member of the European Parliament's Committee on Budgetary Control. The committee sent a delegation to Hungary in May 2023 for a fact-finding visit to "investigate the ongoing issues with the protection of the EU budget." The committee has no power to make decisions, they only evaluate how EU money is spent and they make proposals.

As a Member of the European Parliament, Freund lacks the authority to make decisions regarding the conditionality mechanism. Regardless of his statements, the ultimate decision-making power lies with the Commission and the Council. Therefore, his views hold little significance in determining the fate of the mechanism.


International Fact-Checking Organization Meta Third-Party Fact Checker

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