European Commission investigating EU grant rejection that ran counter to top EU court ruling

The European Court of Justice ruled in June that the restrictions imposed on the financing of civil organisations by foreigners in Hungary were “discriminatory and unjustified” and went against EU law. [EPA-EFE/JULIEN WARNAND]

The European Commission is investigating the rejection of a human rights civil society organisation’s grant application on the grounds that it did not comply with the transparency requirements of Hungarian legislation the EU’s top court found last summer to run against EU law, the EU executive’s Vice-President responsible for values and transparency, Vera Jourova, informed the head of the NGO in a letter.

The Cum Virtute Humanitatis Foundation’s grant application for EU support under the bloc’s Erasmus+ flagship educational mobility programme was rejected by the national managing agency in September because the NGO did not register as a foreign-funded organisation.

The European Court of Justice ruled in June that the restrictions imposed on the financing of civil organisations by foreigners in Hungary were “discriminatory and unjustified” and went against EU law.

The case came to the court after the European Commission initiated infringement proceedings against Hungary in 2017, but Hungary has so far failed to repeal the law.

“The Commission is in contact with the Hungarian authorities on the implementation of the CJEU judgment,” Jourova wrote in the letter

Regarding the grant rejection, Jourova said the Commission “is investigating the situation and is in contact with the National Agency Tempus Public Foundation to receive clarifications about its approach.”

The Commission will then “decide on next steps as appropriate, in line with its role of the Guardian of the Treaties,” Jourova added. (Vlagyiszlav Makszimov | EURACTIV.com)

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