The European Commission will withhold EUR 22 billion of Hungary’s 2021-27 cohesion funds, intended to promote sustainable development for poorer member states. The move comes following Hungary’s failure to conform with the Charter of Fundamental Rights, particularly related to academic freedoms, LGBTQIA+ rights and the asylum system. An additional EUR 6.3 billion were frozen until a set of conditions related to dealing with corruption are fulfilled. The EU also suspended EUR 5.8 billion in funds from Hungary’s Covid-19 recovery fund, pending required changes in the country’s judicial independence. The Commission’s decision underpins the dispute between the EU’s promotion of democratic values and Hungary’s democratic backsliding. The EU’s plan is a major setback for Hungary, and it aims to pressure the country to implement the required reforms. International IDEA’s Global State of Democracy Indices classifies Hungary as a democratic backslider as of 2019 and as a severe backslider as of 2021.
The Hungarian government has amended the existing abortion law, further restricting women's abortion rights in the country. The new law has been identified by civil society organizations in the country as yet another gradual step towards restricting abortion rights. In 2012, the current government adopted a new constitution, which includes a provision that states that “a foetus has to be protected from conception” and introduced stricter procedures such as banning the use of abortion pills – leaving women only with the option of the more traumatic surgical abortion.