The Socialist Party has a vested interest in deepening European cooperation, but the bloc’s funding mechanism needs to be reformed, the party’s MEP and deputy head, Tibor Szanyi, told a press conference on Monday.
EU authorities have reviewed 48 projects worth a total of 1,500 billion forints (EUR 4.6bn) and found that a majority of the funds had been used irregularly, Szanyi said. In such cases, EU regulations allow member states to choose between a detailed scrutiny of the funds and paying ten percent of the funding as penalty, he said.
The Socialists are calling for the latter option to be available only in specific cases, Szanyi said, arguing that “it is outrageous that they let thieves go for a ten percent charge”.
Referring to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s speech at the Bálványos Summer University in Baile Tusnad, central Romania, on Saturday, Szanyi said that the speech was “rambling”, and that Orbán had called for the establishment of an alternative regional bloc.
The EU has always supported regional cooperation, he noted, adding that the Socialist Party sees “a remedy to Hungarian historical traumas” in tighter cooperation. “Certain politicians’ attempt to whip up a public outcry”, however, is fruitless, he insisted.
According to the June report of the EU’s Eurobarometer, the number of EU citizens in favour of European integration is steadily growing, he said.
Ruling Fidesz said in a statement that the Socialists are defending the pro-migration Brussels elite which is about to ruin Europe by facilitating a population exchange, the weakening of nation states and by forcing multiculturalism. Those truly caring for Europe will not endanger but protect European citizens, nations and Europe’s Christian culture, the statement said.