BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union’s executive branch recommended Sunday that the bloc suspend around 7.5 billion euros ($7.5 billion) in funding to Hungary over concerns about democratic backsliding and the possible mismanagement of EU money.
EU Budget Commissioner Johannes Hahn said that despite measures Hungary has proposed to address the deficiencies, the European Commission is recommending the suspension of funds “amounting to an estimated amount of 7.5 billion euros.”
Hahn said that Hungary has until Nov. 19 to address the concerns. Any action to suspend the funds must be approved by EU's 27 member countries, and this requires a “qualified majority,” which amounts to 55% of the 27 members representing at least 65% of the total EU population.
The European Commission has for nearly a decade accused Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban of dismantling democratic institutions, taking control of the media and infringing on minority rights. Orban, who has been in office since 2010, denies the accusations.