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European funds go hand in hand with European values; S&D MEPs tell Hungary and Poland on Covid-19 recovery funds


06 Oct 2021


Euro & Finance

In a plenary debate with Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni in Strasbourg today, the Socialists and Democrats ask why the recovery and resilience plans of Hungary and Poland have not been approved, and call on him to ensure EU funds are properly spent. The Socialists and Democrats insist that European money must be used to rebuild Europe after the pandemic, not tear European values down..

Eider Gardiazabal MEP, S&D spokeswoman on budget, said:

“One after the other, the EU governments’ recovery and resilience plans have been approved by the Commission and much needed funds are starting to flow. With two exceptions: Hungary and Poland. Since they initially presented their plans in May, they have had to ask for extension after extension. Now, these extensions have even expired. People have the right to know what is going on!

“The disrespect for the rule of law, and the unwillingness of the Hungarian and Polish governments to comply with the Commission’s recommendations, make it very difficult to approve their recovery and resilience plans. What we want to see from their side is transparent information about the final recipients of the funds; reforming the public procurement system; and fighting corruption.”

Jonás Fernández Alvarez MEP, S&D spokesman on economic issues, said:

“The pandemic cannot be an excuse to disrespect fundamental human rights and democracy. Kaczyński and Orbán are waging a war against the rule of law, independent media and the LGBTI+ community. Of course, such discriminations of minorities will have an impact on the projects that would receive recovery funding. Poland is even ignoring the rulings from the European Court of Justice! For us it is clear: The recovery funds must be put on hold until the Polish authorities comply with the rulings of the EUCJ, and the Hungarian government gives adequate guarantees against corruption and properly investigates fraud allegations. European funds go hand in hand with European values.”

Note to the editor:

To date, the Commission has received 25 national recovery and resilience plans, Bulgaria’s and the Netherland’s plans are still pending. The European Commission has so far approved 21 plans and through implementing decisions has disbursed 51.5 billion euros.

Both Hungary and Poland submitted their plans in May, and have requested two extensions; for Poland the extension time expired on the 3rd of August and for the Hungary, it expired on the 30 September.

The size of the Hungarian plan is 7.2 billion euros in grants with a request for a pre-financing of 932 million euros. The size of the Polish plan is much larger, 36 billion euros with 23.9 billion euros in grants and 12.1 billion euros in loans with a request for a pre-financing of 4.7 billion euros.

All national plans must comply fully with the 11 assessment criteria. Criteria 10 stipulates the obligation to prevent, detect and correct corruption, fraud, and conflicts of interests when using the funds.