NUNZIUM

News That Matters

16/09/2022 ---- 18/09/2022
18.09.2022
THEME: POLITICS

The European Commission recommends cutting funds to Hungary in amount of Billions

Since Orban's ruling Fidesz party came to power in 2010 the conflict between the EU and Hungary - one of the main block’s beneficiaries - has steadily grown. In 2018 a resolution of the EU Parliament declared a violation of Article 7 of the EU Treaty: breaching of EU's founding values. The report raised concerns about a long list of fundamental rights considered to be under threat, including the electoral system, the independence of judiciary, privacy, freedom of expression, media pluralism, academic freedom, LGBT rights and the protection of minorities and asylum seekers. On September 15 Members of the European Parliament further voted to condemn the “deliberate and systematic efforts of the Hungarian government” to undermine European values - 433 votes for, 123 against, and 28 abstentions. The situation has deteriorated such that Hungary has become an “electoral autocracy”. The EU Council can now decide to suspend any rights of membership, such as voting, representation, and block financial support now amounting to billions in the context of the ongoing recovery plan. Financial penalties would be imposed due to alleged fraudulent behavior and rule of law violations. All this in a moment where Hungary's economy is experiencing its highest inflation in nearly 25 years, while its currency recently reached record lows against the euro and the dollar. “I find it funny," Orbán said. “The only reason we don’t laugh at it is because we’re bored of it. It's a boring joke. It’s the third or fourth time they’ve passed a resolution condemning Hungary in the European Parliament. At first, we thought it was significant. But now we see it as a joke." It is with these premises that on September 18 the European Commission called for an estimated € 7.5 Billions in European funds to be withheld from Hungary over corruption concerns. The Council now has one month to decide whether to go ahead with the Commission's recommendation - in which case Commission could freeze funds to Budapest from 19 November at the earliest. Yet, the Commission left the door open for remedial measures by 19 November. To date, additionally, Hungary is the only member state not to have had its plan to receive some of the €800 billion of post-COVID recovery funds approved by Brussels. The Commission has asked for reforms in exchange for green-lighting the plan. Overall, it looks like a lot of hard work for president Orbán, on top of what has been defined a “boring joke”.

READ MORE
16.09.2022
THEME: POLITICS

Asian and Middle East leaders met in Samarkand and discussed cooperation and international issues

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) was set up in 2001 as a political, economic and security organisation to rival Western institutions. Member countries are China, India, Pakistan, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. This year, among others, also leaders of Belarus, Iran, and Turkey participated to the meeting - which took place in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. President of China Xi Jinping, president of Russia Vladimir Putin, president of India Narendra Modi, and president of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan were present. This meeting marks another milestone towards a more intense financial, economic, and political cooperation between nations in Central Asia. Russia has closed deals with Turkey, India, China, and Mongolia to increase significantly energy export towards Asia. President Xi, during his keynote speech, outlined several priorities going forward for the SCO state members, including enhancing solidarity and cooperation, maintaining strategic independence and safeguarding regional stability, pursuing inclusiveness and shared benefits in promoting development cooperation. On the situation in Ukraine, with counteroffensives underway against Russia, some contrasting views were shared: while Putin confirmed Russia’s will to endure until reaching “liberation of Donbas”, no direct support was offered by any country - China included - and India’s president Modi further expressed concern. In his words: “I know today’s era is not of war. We discussed this issue with you on phone several times, that democracy, diplomacy and dialogue touch the entire world […] Today the biggest worry before the world, especially developing countries, is food security, fuel security, fertilisers. We must find ways to these problems and you will also have to consider” he said to Putin. The meeting concluded with leaders signing a declaration containing statements of shared effort on safeguarding global food security and energy security, addressing climate change, and maintaining a secure, stable and diversified supply chain.

READ MORE