Budapest (MTI) – The government will put out all tenders for European Union funding in the 2014-2020 period, totalling 8,900 billion forints (EUR 28.7bn), before the end of this month, government office chief János Lázár told parliament on Monday.
Lázár said in his introduction to a plenary discussion on the subject that 53 percent of the grand total has already been contracted. Under those contracts, 4,400 billion forints will go to some 20,000 winning bidders, Lázár said, adding that the winners have been selected out of a total 124,000 applicants.
Lázár said that in the previous budgeting period between 2007 and 2014 only 15 percent of community funding for Hungary benefitted Hungarian companies, in all other cases they were absorbed by a “multinational capital suction-pump”. The government now seeks to increase that ratio to 65 percent, he added.
Lázár said that after 2020 the EU’s funding system will probably change, the focus being on loans rather than grants, and the EU will “seek to centralise distribution”. It will mean that “neither parliament nor the government will have a say in awarding the funds; decisions will be made in Brussels”.
Concerning corruption, Lázár said that the cases contested by the opposition are associated with a group “which has a mere 5 percent share”, while in the remaining 95 percent “the opposition does not even raise a question”.
EU funds will contribute to meeting the government’s objectives in 2017, such as reducing regional differences, creating opportunities to close gaps and resolve issues around competitiveness, Lázár said.
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