Budapest, October 18 (MTI) – Hungary’s government could call tenders for all European Union funding available for the 2014-2020 funding cycle by next spring, even earlier than expected, Nándor Csepreghy, state secretary at the prime minister’s office, said in an interview published in daily Magyar Idők on Tuesday.
“We could fulfill our promise to call all of the tenders for the funding by June 2017 even earlier. It’s possible that all of the money could be made available by the spring of next year,” Csepreghy said.
So far, tenders for more than 6,400 billion forints (EUR 21bn) in funding, more than 70 percent of the total, have been called, he noted.
Csepreghy acknowledged disputes with Brussels over pre-financing for the funding as well as the system of evaluating applications, but said “these disputed points aren’t as significant as the press would make them out to be”.
The European Commission has aired concerns over the 50 percent of pre-financing rate and evaluations of the applications by state employees rather than contracted companies.
He conceded that the government’s pre-financing rate is over the average 30 percent, but said the interests of Hungarian companies take priority over Brussels’ concerns.
“The responsibility for the decision is the government’s, not the bureaucracy in Brussels. It’s conceivable that one in ten companies could abuse the opportunity, but we can’t punish the rest of the companies who follow the rules for this,” he said.
Csepreghy also argued that putting state employees in charge of evaluating applications “excludes the corruptibility of the evaluators”.
“It guarantees that the basis for the evaluation is the development being evaluated,” he added.