Commission urges Hungary to step up efforts to release funds
The European Commission has proposed to suspend EUR 495 184 000 of Cohesion Fund commitments taking effect on 1 January 2013, representing 0.5 % of GDP and 29% of the country's cohesion fund allocations for 2013. This unprecedented step follows the Commission's repeated warnings to Hungary urging it to step up its efforts to end the country's excessive government deficit, and its subsequent failure to take appropriate action. On 11 January this year, the European Commission concluded, as part of the Excessive Deficit Procedure (EDP), that Hungary had not taken effective action to bring its deficit to below the target of 3% of GDP by 2011 in a sustainable and credible manner (see press release and memo). The European Commission therefore proposed to step up the Procedure. This recommendation was endorsed by the Council of Ministers on 24 January, paving the way for a suspension of part of the Cohesion Fund commitments for Hungary.