Government office chief: difference between Hungary, EC views on budget ‘not irreconcilable’
There are no “irreconcilable differences” between the goals of the Hungarian government and the position of the European Commission concerning the community’s budget, the Hungarian government office chief said on Friday, adding that it was necessary to continue Europe’s cohesion policy.
Lázár spoke following talks between representatives of the Visegrád countries and four other EU members, as well as Günther Oettinger, EU commissioner for the community’s budget and human resources, in Budapest.
Concerning the community budget after 2020, Lázár said his government wants to see one which “ensures a development in which Hungary is a net contributor in the subsequent budgeting period”.
Participants in the talks agreed that contributions may need to be raised, and did not exclude the possibility that they may increase their payments to 1.1 percent of the gross national income (GNI) in future.
Lázár called reduced bureaucracy a shared interest and urged that procedures to implement the budget are made faster and cheaper.
Oettinger said the participants had agreed on most issues concerning the budget. He added that the EU must not give up its common goals because of Brexit. He welcomed participants’ willingness to raise payments, and highlighted the importance of those funds in terms of research, innovation, handling issues around migration, as well as border protection and security.
Oettinger also said that cohesion funding was instrumental in increasing the competitiveness and economic weight of Europe,
as well as in ensuring solidarity and sustainability within the community, and called for making relevant legislation simpler. The EU must demonstrate that the community is able to act, to cooperate, and is capable of good governance despite hard times, he added.
Following the press conferences, Oettinger was hosted in a working lunch by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
Featured image: MTI