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Varga: Hungary committed to the values on which the EU is founded

Hungary is committed to the basic values of the European Union and to protecting its financial interests, "as it is in our common interest to ensure transparent and efficient use of European taxpayers' contributions," Justice Minister Judit Varga said in an article published on the website on Friday.

The conditionality procedure against Hungary linking the payments of EU funds to adherence to the rule of law “was conceived as a preventive tool to protect the financial interests of the EU but if it is turned into a political sanctioning mechanism, the whole exercise will become a collective failure,” Varga said.

The procedure entered a new phase as a result of the Hungarian government’s proposal of “a comprehensive package of significant remedial measures to protect the Union’s financial interests further. The measures aim to make public procurement more transparent and competitive, reinforcing the legal and institutional framework for fighting fraud and corruption and strengthening audit and control processes and conflict of interest rules,” Varga said.

Recently, Hungary’s “objective has been to implement those remedial measures in consultation with the Commission,” she said.

“An Integrity Authority has been established to intervene in all cases where competent authorities have not taken the necessary steps to prevent, detect and correct fraud, conflicts of interest, corruption and other irregularities that have or may have an effect on the implementation of EU financial support. The Board of the Authority has been elected, and its provisional infrastructure is already in place. An Anti-Corruption Task Force has also been convened,” she said.

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