A spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Estonia’s position will ultimately be determined by the government.
“For Estonia, respect for the rule of law is extremely important,” said Marika Linntam, Director General of the European Affairs Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“Hungarian violations of the rule of law must not harm the budget of the European Union or its financial interests. Therefore, we will closely follow the development of the dialogue between the European Commission and Hungary until November 19, which is the deadline set for Hungary. provide details about the promised reforms to address the shortcomings,” Linntam said in response to an ERR request for clarification of Estonia’s position.
On Sunday, the European Commission proposed withholding 65 percent of the 7.5 billion euros earmarked for cohesion programs and policies in Hungary due to violations of the rule of law. Hungary’s failure to respect the rule of law calls into question the proper use of EU subsidies and allows them to be abused with impunity. However, the final decision on the withdrawal of funds must be made by the EU member states.
Linntam said that Hungary is already working with the European Commission on proposals to improve the rule of law. The Commission considers the proposed changes to be sufficient in principle, provided they are properly implemented.
Hungary has pledged to carry out 17 reforms that should resolve the confrontation with the EU.
“The decision to suspend (financial) commitments made to Hungary under the EU Cohesion Policy will be taken by the EU Council (which includes representatives of the governments of each of the EU member states – ed.) at the proposal of the European Commission. within three months at the latest,” Linntham said.
“In Estonia, the position on the (potential) suspension of funding for the EU cohesion policy for Hungary will be decided by the government, taking into account the assessment by the European Commission of the degree of implementation of the promised reforms,” Linntam added.
The EU Commission launched a fiscal conditionality mechanism against Hungary in April over violations of the rule of law, especially with regard to public procurement and corruption investigations.
A qualified majority of the Member States is required for a decision by the EU Council.