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The most important tool for catching up is economic policymaking that supports competitiveness, Mihály Varga, the incoming Hungarian finance minister, said on Friday in Sofia at the Ecofin Council meeting. Euro-zone membership in itself will not allow eastern Europe to catch up.

Varga told European Union economic and finance ministers that member states should be left room for manoeuvre in the areas of productivity, employment, investment promotion and technological reforms.

Hungary’s view, he said, is that the EU has managed to reduce development gaps between the regions and cohesion policy has been an important tool in that endeavour.

Hungary urges EU funding to be maintained at current levels and funds for development should be increased in the next EU budget cycle, he added.

Source: MTI

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