The opposition Socialists have prepared a seven-point proposal on how Hungary should utilise European Union funding in the next seven-year budget period, Socialist MEP Istvan Újhelyi said on Saturday.
Újhelyi said in a video message on Facebook that two consultations were about to start in Hungary. He described the government’s national consultation survey as a “fake consultation” and a “campaign of brainwashing”. At the same time, the European Commission has invited Hungarians to a real “real social dialogue” about the EU budget, he added.
The Socialist Party is the first organisation in Hungary putting its proposals in writing about the EU budget and the nearly 7,000 billion forints Hungary will get, he said.
Újhelyi said people, everyday issues and social matters must be put in focus in the next seven years. He cited job creation, replacing discontinued jobs, improving the quality of social services, developing education and health care, creating decent living conditions and strengthening the institutions that guarantee secure conditions for the elderly.
Significant resources need to be spent on developing health-care services and to solve the problems of future generations, such as discontinuing youth unemployment, cross-training, supporting young people setting up businesses, and improving conditions for home and family creation, he said.
He said the Socialists support the European Green Deal and the allocation for Hungary should be spent on energy efficiency schemes, promoting environmentally friendly means of transport and launching energy-efficiency schemes for buildings.
The Socialists demand that local municipalities should receive funding directly from the EU.
Additionally, if the government is “unable to utilise funds in line with regulations” then the Commission should withdraw this opportunity and distribute the funds directly.
Újhelyi said it was also important to protect cohesion funding and farm subsidies.
Ruling Fidesz MEP Tamás Deutsch said on Facebook on Saturday that Újhelyi’s proposals would reduce EU support to Hungary even more than other opposition initiatives that involved cutting development funding. Ujhelyi has proposed “radical” tax hikes affecting Hungary’s small and medium-sized businesses and wants the utilisation of the country’s EU funding to be determined by directive from Brussels instead of by local decision-makers, Deutsch said.
He added that by supporting the “humbug about resources given directly from Brussels” Újhelyi would risk losing 97-98 percent of EU development funding. His proposals would enable pro-migration forces to exercise pressure on Hungary for political motives, Deutsch said and called on the Socialists to clarify if Újhelyi’s “unacceptable” proposals represented the party’s official position.