Hungary to change procurement following EU's 'systemic' fraud citing

Monday 8 February 2021 13:36 CET | News

The European Union's executive has told Hungary to reform its public procurement laws to curb systemic fraud before billions of euros from the EU pandemic recovery fund become available, according to

The European Commission is mandated with managing the EUR 750 billion scheme and has already told several EU states their proposals for spending their part of the funds must be improved. There was no immediate response from the Hungarian government to an emailed request for comment on the document. The bloc wants outright changes to Hungary's public procurement laws, according to the 26 January 2021 Commission document laying out specific legal changes required of Hungary's government.

The document said that ‘competition in public procurement is insufficient in practice,’ which was linked to ‘systemic irregularities’ that ‘led to the highest financial correction in the history of (EU) structural funds in 2019’. The document called specifically for improved data transparency and accessibility, arguing that that would lead to a fairer and more open procurement process.

Budapest, which has had a series of battles with EU authorities over rule of law issues, is due to get nearly EUR 6.3 billion in free grants from the recovery scheme if its spending plan is proposed by an end-of-April 2021 deadline, and then accepted by Brussels and other EU countries. 

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Keywords: Hungary, EU, European Union, procurement, fraud, systemic fraud, European Commission, data accessibility, structural funds
Categories: Banking & Fintech
Countries: Hungary
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