On Sunday, the EU executive proposed the suspension of some EUR 7.5 billion earmarked for Budapest from the bloc's shared budget for 2021-27 owing to apparent corruption risks.

 

This is the first time the EC has taken such a step since a conditionality mechanism was set up two years ago to protect the EU budget from corruption.

 

Piotr Wawrzyk, a deputy foreign minister, told PAP on Monday that the EC's corruption allegations against Hungary are "artificial arguments in favour of using the conditionality mechanism," and went on to accuse Brussels of double standards.

 

"Certainly, these are not the reasons that the Commission described, because there are countries that have really serious problems with corruption when spending EU money, as the EC stresses in its reports, and somehow it does not apply such procedures concerning these countries," he said.

 

Both the Hungarian and Polish governments are locked in protracted disputes with the EU and are regarded as ideological allies in what they consider to be a mutual fight against apparent EU federalism.

 

In Wawrzyk's opinion, the EC is seeking to change the Hungarian government, "like it is in the case of actions towards Poland."

 

"Some governments do not suit the Commission because they do not reflect the views of the majority of the so-called European mainstream, European bureaucrats, therefore, as you can see, the Commission uses various legal tricks only to punish these countries and thus lead to a change of governments in these countries," Wawrzyk said.