Hungary initiates infringement procedure against Austria

Hungary’s government has turned to the European commissioner for employment and social affairs with a view to initiating an infringement procedure against Austria over the issue of benefits for family members of workers posted abroad, a justice ministry official said on Monday.

On January 1, Austria cut family benefits paid for foreigners working in the country to the price levels of the country of residence of the child.

State secretary Pal Volner said Hungary will turn to the Court of Justice of the European Union if the European Commission opts against launching an infringement procedure against Austria.

For Hungary, the interests of Hungarian workers come first, and the government does everything in its power to make sure their rights are not infringed upon abroad, he said.
As a result of the benefit cuts, the Austrian government now only pays 56 percent of the official family allowance to Hungarians working there if their children live in Hungary, Volner explained.

On January 7, the Hungarian government presented a diplomatic note to the Austrian government explaining that the country’s changes to its family benefit system and personal income tax preferences violate EU regulations, the state secretary said. But since Austria has not addressed these concerns, Hungary has decided to turn to Marianne Thyssen, the EU commissioner, he added.

Source and photo: MTI

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