In Hungary’s opinion, security and economic competitiveness are the most important factors in the European Union’s budget plan for period 2020-2026. This was the position represented by two Ministers of State at a ministerial-level conference on the EU’s long-term financial framework organised by the current Bulgarian presidency of the Council of the European Union in Sofia.

In a statement to Hungarian news agency MTI on Saturday, Parliamentary State Secretary Szabolcs Takács from the Prime Minister’s Office recalled that the European Commission is expected to publish its proposals for the long-term financial framework on 2 May, and it is important for Hungary to indicate its own main viewpoints to its partners in time.


“At the conference, we explained that in Hungary’s opinion Europe must primarily be safe, because in recent years we have seen that partly because of illegal migration and partly as a result of internal tensions security, which was previously regarded as given, is no longer explicit within the European Union. Above all, we drew attention to the fact that the new tasks relating to security must under all circumstances receive financing, with particular regard to the agreements on the protection of external borders and reducing illegal migration that the EU has already concluded or is preparing to sign with partner countries”, Mr. Takács said.

“There is already an agreement in place with Turkey, and negotiations on similar treaties are also ongoing with several African countries. Because if Europe is not safe, it will hinder economic development. In Budapest’s view, although there is agreement on the importance of border protection, the European Commission and a few member states are nevertheless concentrating instead on the distribution of migrants, including during the planning of the budget. The Hungarian Government does not agree with this and regards the protection of the European Union’s external borders as being of paramount importance, and this is something that it has now made absolutely clear”, the Minister of State said.

“The other topic of discussion at the conference was Europe’s economic competitiveness. The continent could lose further positions in the global economic competition if it is unable to stand on its own two feet, meaning that member states must produce a dependable and strong level of economic growth. This, however, requires the financing of all policies that facilitate this”, Mr. Takács told the press with regard to Hungary’s standpoint on the issue.

“We explained the economic results that Hungary has achieved in recent years despite the difficult external circumstances. It has a stable fiscal balance and rate of economic growth, the deficit to GDP ratio has been kept at under the required 3 percent level for years, the level of external debt is decreasing, and Hungary’s unemployment figures are also excellent in European comparison. These are qualities that the Hungarian Government expects all member states and the European Commission to respect”, Mr. Takács declared.

The Minister of State also spoke about the fact that Hungary is asking the EU “to continue to finance policies that serve the convergence of less developed EU member states. This primarily means cohesion policy, which, as we made clear at the conference, is not a donation and must not be regarded as such”, Mr. Takács highlighted, adding that the net contributors to the EU budget profit from cohesion funding at least as much as its beneficiaries, including Hungary.

At the conference, the Minister of State confirmed that Hungary will not accept any condition that would tie the payment of cohesion funding to participation in the mandatory distribution of migrants. “The two have absolutely nothing to do with each other. Hungary and several other member states have a fundamental problem with mandatory participation in the distribution of migrants. Conjoining the two is not only legally unfounded and politically unacceptable, it also leads to effects that are totally at odds with what is required and in no way contributes to solving Europe’s problems”, said Mr. Takács, in addition to whom the Ministry for National Economy’s Minister of State for Budgetary Affairs Péter Benő Banai represented Hungary at the conference in Sofia.

(Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister/MTI)