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The state secretary of the information and technology ministry on Friday called for a tenfold increase in European Union innovation funding for states that joined the EU at a later date.

Speaking on the sidelines of a two-day meeting of the EU’s Competitiveness Council, László György told MTI that the EU’s cohesion policy finances “vertical relations” between the 15 countries that first joined the bloc and the latecomers. Cohesion policy should strive to create equally developed states instead of today’s economy based on a hierarchy of “superior and inferior” states, he said.

Hungary wants true convergence while the western states want to monopolise innovation funds and cut cohesion funding,

György insisted. Hungary is for maintaining the current level of cohesion funds and the proportionate sharing of common resources, he said.

György noted that the European Commission has called on the member states to cooperate on issues in R+D+I and mulls doubling the budget of the sector to 2 percent. Hungary, however, calls for the funds to be raised to 20 percent, to be used jointly by “developed western and developing eastern member states”, György said.

“Hungary agrees that EU budget funding for innovation should be increased in the next seven-year period but these resources should be used jointly by the bloc’s eastern and western side.

This is the only way to increase innovation and research capacity and with it, comptetitiveness,” György said.

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