Objective data shows that the level of corruption in Hungary does not differ from EU average – Hungary's Chief Public Prosecutor

October 12. 2022. – 03:41 PM



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Hungary's Chief Public Prosecutor, Péter Polt, has submitted his report on last year's activities of the Prosecution Office to Parliament, the state news agency, MTI reports.

In the report, among other things, he wrote that the subjective assessment of the corruption situation in Hungary – based on perception surveys – is far from being the same as the objective facts.

The objective data on corruption shows that Hungary's situation, except for the health sector, is not different from the average in the EU member states.

On the other hand, according to Transparency International's January survey, Hungary is the second most corrupt member state of the European Union, and even in the global ranking it is only 73rd among 180 states. In June, the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) published a report saying Hungary's anti-corruption performance was "globally insufficient".

Polt's report also highlighted the prosecution's cooperation with the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF). As he wrote, the number of OLAF recommendations is steadily decreasing year by year, and all of them are followed with investigations, with the Hungarian prosecution service having brought an indictment in 67 percent of OLAF cases in the last five years.

"This is an outstanding result, almost double the EU average of 35 percent," Polt wrote. According to the Chief Public Prosecutor, a good working relationship has also been established with the European Public Prosecutor's Office, and he is the only Chief Prosecutor from a non-member country to have signed a cooperation agreement with the European Public Prosecutor's Office.

At the end of September, the European Commission decided not to close the rule of law mechanism case against Hungary, but to refer the matter to the Council of the European Union. A vote by the Council of EU ministers will decide whether the Hungarian government can access the EU funds (around 3,000 billion forints) which have been withheld from the country due to the Union's worries about corruption.

The Hungarian government has been given two months to implement the anti-corruption measures it had previously committed to in order to have access to the funds. On 19 September, the government submitted some of the bills requested by the European Commission to Parliament, and the first one, an amendment to the Criminal Procedure Act, was adopted in early October. As part of the measures, the Hungarian government is also setting up an anti-corruption task force and a new anti-corruption authority.

European Commission Vice-President Věra Jourová had previously commented that just because Hungary has committed to so many measures, it does not automatically mean that all the problems will be solved, and that if the Commission sees new problems in Hungary, it could re-launch the mechanism in the future.

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The translation of this article was made possible by our cooperation with the Heinrich Böll Foundation.