Hungary’s parliament speaker, Laszlo Kover, has accused the European Union (EU) of waging a “hybrid war” against Hungary by withholding funds as a means of political control. In an interview with Mandiner magazine, Kover stated that Hungary’s relations with the EU have reached a “low point” due to the ongoing dispute over €28 billion in funds earmarked for Budapest, which are currently frozen by the bloc until Hungary implements various legal reforms.
Kover described the EU’s institutional system as a “cancerous bureaucracy” that has turned against its member states, eroding their sovereignty. He questioned whether the EU is still an association of independent and equal member states or if it is moving towards imperial expansion. Kover criticized the EU’s efforts to create economic governance that dissolves the sovereignty of member states, pointing out that joint borrowing and common currencies would further undermine national independence.
While Kover acknowledged that the EU remains the best framework for Hungarian national interests, he insisted that the organization must fulfill its obligations to its members, which he claimed it has failed to do in Hungary’s case. He argued that the EU seeks to interfere in Hungary’s political process by withholding resources and expects Hungary to be ashamed of it.
To unlock the frozen funds, Hungary is required to meet 27 “super milestones” proposed by the European Commission. These include judicial and media reforms, as well as efforts to combat corruption. The EU has long accused Hungary of not upholding the rule of law standards set by the bloc. However, Hungary maintains that these allegations are politically motivated.
In addition to the funding dispute, Hungary has resisted pressure to align with the US-led sanctions campaign against Russia over its military operation in Ukraine. Instead, Hungary has maintained friendly ties with Moscow and has refused to provide military aid to Ukraine. Prime Minister Viktor Orban has called for dialogue between the warring parties to bring an end to the conflict.
The tensions between Hungary and the EU highlight the broader challenges of maintaining sovereignty within the bloc. As the EU continues to demand reforms and adherence to its standards from member states, debates surrounding the balance between national independence and European integration are likely to persist.