Hungary disapproves of the European Union’s current draft budget for the 2021-2027 funding cycle, as it believes it would not serve the country’s interests enough and contains “excessive” cohesion funding cuts for Hungary, the innovation and technology minister said in Brussels on Tuesday.
The EU’s criteria for allocating cohesion funds to its member states go against Hungary’s interests, László Palkovics told MTI after talks with EU commissioners. The bloc’s cohesion policy is about reducing economic disparities among member states, the minister argued, adding that Hungary would not accept more developed countries getting more cohesion money than itself.
Hungary believes it is wrong to divide the EU on cohesion policy, Palkovics said, and warned against taking criteria into account during the budget talks that do not concern the issue of the budget.
As regards his talks with Guenther Oettinger, commissioner for budgetary affairs, Palkovics said Hungary and the EU were at odds over the criteria that should be considered when allocating cohesion funds to member states. Hungary believes the policy is successful in its current form and should not be changed.
Palkovics and Violeta Bulc, the transport commissioner, discussed potential solutions to the exclusion of Hungarian and other central and eastern European road haulage companies from western European markets by setting “impossible terms” for them. Such practices are discriminatory and restrict competition, the minister said, adding that the EU should enact straightforward regulations for this sector.
Palkovics also met Tibor Navracsics, the EU commissioner for education, culture and sport. In their talks, the minister reassured Navracsics that the government’s transfer of state funding for the Hungarian Academy of Sciences to the budget chapter of the innovation and technology ministry was not a violation of the academy’s autonomy.
The measure is aimed at making the financing of company innovation more transparent, he said.
The minister and Miguel Arias Canete, the commissioner for energy and climate action, agreed that the EU’s 2030 energy targets to reduce carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions and invest in renewable energy were achievable.
As regards his talks with EU Commissioner for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness Jyrki Katainen, Palkovics said he and the commissioner agreed on the importance of creating a circular economy, not only in terms of upholding an ecological equilibrium, but also in terms of business opportunities.