According to Minister of State for EU Affairs Szabolcs Takács, cohesion policy must remain a determining element during the upcoming financial framework.

In a telephone statement to Hungarian news agency MTI, Mr. Takács said that according to the statements made at the “Friends of Cohesion” conference being held in Warsaw with the participation of member states and the European Commission, all member states recognise that cohesion is advantageous to all parties and must continue, because it is thanks to cohesion that countries have moved closer together during the course of convergence processes.

He stressed that the EU will only become more competitive if its member states are also competitive, and the tools for achieving this are cohesion policy and innovation, on which increasing emphasis must be placed in future.

Mr. Takács also said that the debate on cohesion policy between the EU’s member states will begin next May, and that based on the statements made at the conference in Warsaw it will not be easy to come to an agreement, because the EU is facing challenges for which funding must be found. Such challenges include migration, for which the best source of funding are not necessarily the EU’s cohesion funds.

At the conference, the Minister of State reported on the fact that Hungary has already published tenders for the utilization of all of the funding available for the 2014-2020 financial framework, 80 percent of which has already been awarded and 40 percent of which has already been paid out.

(Prime Minister's Office/MTI)