Fidesz MEPs were the only group in the European People’s Party to reject voting in favour of the European Parliament’s position on the European Union’s budget for the 2021-2027 financial cycle, a Socialist MEP said on Sunday.
István Újhelyi told an online press conference that the proposal, voted down by Fidesz, had been aimed to increase funding for job protection and expanding employment, the Erasmus programme, research and a “European Health-care Union”.
Újhelyi noted that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán had threatened to veto the budget and the recovery fund designed to offset the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic should EU funding be tied to rule of law regulations.
The MEP insisted that Fidesz “didn’t care” if Hungary, and other member states, would be left without EU funding, because “their priority is to avoid being held accountable for keeping democratic values … and transparent use of EU funds”.
“Fidesz MEPs are again in opposition in Europe,” he said.
Újhelyi pledged to support the proposal when it is sent back to parliament after cross-institutional examination, if the sectors he represents — the health-care union, tourism and transport policy — are not harmed by it.