Suspension of funds to Hungary

Payments to Hungary under the EEA and Norway Grants were suspended on 9 May 2014. This followed a unilateral decision by the Hungarian authorities to move the implementation and monitoring of the Grants scheme out of central government administration, in breach of the agreements governing the funding.

Subsequently, on 28 May, the Hungarian government once again breached its agreements with the donor countries by instructing the Government Control Office (KEHI) to initiate an audit of the NGO Programme. Responsibility for the programme and any potential audits lies solely with the three donor countries – Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway – as agreed with the Hungarian authorities.

The donor countries strongly objected to this second breach of the signed agreements. Our objections were also raised at a high-level meeting between the Hungarian government and the donor countries in Brussels on 12 June and conditions for lifting the suspension communicated in letters to the Hungarian authorities between June and September 2014.

Suspension of the payments may only be lifted once a satisfactory solution to all outstanding issues has been agreed with the Hungarian authorities. This means full compliance with the rules and responsibilities as set out in the international agreements, including respect for the agreements entered into by the Hungarian government with the donors and on the set-up of the NGO programme.

Press releases from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: