Viktor Orban, the Hungarian Prime Minister, has requested that the European Commission disburse all EU funds to Hungary, including a loan from the Recovery and Resilience Facility, to assist with the Ukrainian refugee crisis.
A copy of a March 18 letter addressed to Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen was sent to Reuters as an emailed response. It states that Orban stated that Hungary wanted to use the loan facility to support its border control, humanitarian aid, and other critical management tasks.
Because the EU has yet to implement its recommendations on the rule-of-law, the European Commission has withheld approval for pandemic recovery funds to Hungary and Poland.
The European Union executive is at odds with two nationalist governments on a variety of issues, including LGBT rights and press freedom. Von der Leyen stated last year that Hungary must do more to combat corruption.
Orban, who is up for re-election in a tight race, stated that Hungary has received more than 450,000 refugees from Ukraine to date and that there was a “shared responsibility” between member states during the crisis.
Orban wrote that Hungary requested immediate access to EU funds. Orban also asked for flexibility to allow it to use the funds for the best purposes of dealing with the crisis.
Hungary had previously stated that it would not tap a total of 3.3 trillion forints ($9.82billion) in loans under the EU Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF). However, Orban’s letter indicates that the government has changed its stance.
He stated that Hungary “requests immediate provision of the alloted loan facility” under RRF.