Brussels will unfreeze €13B for Hungary to help Ukraine.
The European Commission is preparing to release about €13B in EU funds by the end of November. This step will ensure Budapest’s support in increasing the bloc’s budget and providing significant financial assistance to Ukraine, the FT writes.
Unblocking funds frozen since December 2022 would mark a victory for Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who promised not to agree to any increase in the EU budget until his country gets access to these funds. Last year, the EU froze €22B for Hungary after concluding that the government was not complying with human rights conventions and the rule of law.
In May, Hungary implemented a judicial reform that would allow the European Commission to unlock €13B. However, the European Parliament is likely to condemn this move. And while the body cannot block payments, it can delay a potential deal to increase the EU’s budget.
Meanwhile, Ukraine is working to persuade Hungary to unblock €500M in military support after excluding the Hungarian OTP Bank from the list of international sponsors of the war.