Csaba Domotor

Government official: Debate over EU funds on ‘political blackmail, not rule of law’

The debate over the disbursement of European Union funding is about political pressure and blackmail rather than the state of the rule of law in Hungary, state secretary Csaba Domotor told public radio on Sunday.

Domotor told Kossuth Radio that MEP Daniel Freund, a member of the Committee on Budgetary Control, had said that Hungary would not receive EU funding unless it abandoned its stance on the war in Ukraine, migration and child protection.

However, Hungarians have the right to decide whether they want to send weapons to Ukraine, who they want to allow into the country and how they want to protect their children, he said. “No matter how many times and ways we are blackmailed, we shall not let those rights slip from our fingers.”

Domotor also called for a “change of direction” in European Union leadership in next year’s EP elections, insisting that the current one did not represent European citizens’ expectations.

According to Hungarian Szazadveg Institute’s latest poll of all EU countries, the majority of European citizens think that EU sanctions imposed on Russia had harmed Europe, he said.

At the same time, the EU has prepared a proposal of the 11th sanction package, “even though the previous ones have caused a lot of damage without achieving their goal,” he said.

Imposing sanctions on nuclear energy would bring further price increases and supply insecurity, and so hobble Europe’s competitiveness, he said. Such steps would cause lasting damage, putting economic growth and jobs at risk, he added.

Hungary is against sanctions on Russian nuclear products as they would harm the ongoing upgrade of the Paks nuclear plant and the operation of the current two blocks, he said.

Sanctions have already curbed Hungary’s “economic room for maneuver” by 4,000 billion forints this year alone, he said. Hungary will “definitely say no to sanctions that would cause it further economic harm”, he added.

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