Renew Europe is one of the most dynamic groups within the European Parliament. It is the successor of ALDE – Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe. Formed in June 2019, Renew Europe is lead by a Romanian politician – the former Romanian PM and the former European Commissionaire for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Dacian Ciolos.
Dacian Ciolos entered politics relatively recently after he left the Romanian Prime Minister’s office in 2017. Now he is the co-president of USR-PLUS, one of the political alliances to ensure the governing power in Romania, but he is also the leader of Renew Europe, a European group known to exist mainly due to the initiative of the French president, Emmanuel Macron, who wants to impose his vision for a new European Union in the European Parliament.
Renew Europe is also the group that initiated the procedure for halting the process for the approval of the Hungarian Recovery and Resilience Facility. The Facility is the European Union plan, worth €672.5 billion in loans and grants available, to support reforms and investments undertaken by the Member States to speed up the recovery process after the pandemic. Hungarian Recovery Plan was to be discussed by the European Commission before July 12. This is a chance for Hungary to access up to EUR 7 billion.
For suspending the EC procedure to approve the Hungarian Plan, Renew Europe sent an open letter to the European Commission. The letter reminds the Commission about the problems with corruption in Hungary and about the fact that Hungary refused to join EPPO – the European Public Prosecutor Office.
Before the 12th of July you will have to ‘approve’ Viktor Orbán’s recovery plan. Hungary is eligible to receive up to 7 billion euros. And yet you will have very little means to make sure this money does not end up in the wrong pockets —as you know, the Orbán regime does not recognise the jurisdiction of the European Public Prosecutor Office. Fraud in Viktor Orbán’s Hungary is endemic —or to quote the Commission: it is ‘systemic’.Open letter of Renew Europe on corruption issues in Hungary
It seems that the initiative is successful, as the European Commission suspended the procedures to approve Hungary’s plan on Wednesday, July 7, as announced by Dacian Ciolos on Twitter.
Coincidence or not, EPPO is led by the Romanian former Chief Prosecutor, Laura Codruta Kovesi. She is famous for the period when she led the anti-corruption fight in Romania. After being voted by the European Parliament for EPPO, she said, in an interview, that “NO country is clean” when it comes to corruption.
Will Hungary join EPPO if this is the condition of the European Commission for having its recovery plan approved? Most probably not. Recently, Viktor Orban and other political leaders, some in power in their countries, initiated a political movement within the European Parliament by signing a declaration to put the European Union on a new path. The parties that signed the declaration include Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz, Poland’s governing Law and Justice, France’s National Rally, led by Marine Le Pen, Austria’s Freedom Party, Spain’s Vox and Italy’s League and Brothers of Italy, led by Matteo Salvini and Giorgia Meloni respectively.
By having the support of the new group of forces within the European Parliament, Viktor Orban will not give up easily. By analyzing his recent moves on the national or European scene, one can realize he is not a fan of the so-called European values, including here the “diversity”, “sexual acceptance” or “sexual education in school”. He is a die-hard and there are lots of Viktor Orban in the European politics who find the “new Europe” too much of a centralized institution that imposes its decision on the member states instead of respecting their sovereignty and self-determination.