“The European Commission should interfere less in the application of cohesion funding, not more”, State Secretary Tamás Schanda said, amongst others, during his negotiations in Luxembourg. The Ministry for Innovation and Technology’s State Secretary for European Union Development Projects represented Hungary as a session of the General Affairs Council discussing the funding distribution regulations for the upcoming budgetary period on 25 June 2019, and at the V4+4 negotiations preceding the session.

At the Visegrád Group (V4) meeting supplemented by the relative ministers from Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania and Slovenia, and at the EU summit, Mr. Schanda stressed that Hungary firmly rejects the fact that Brussels wants to use cohesion funding for goals other than those originally set. “It is unacceptable that the Commission wants to reduce the total level of cohesion funding, but wants to redirect more funding towards the admittance and integration of immigrants. We are making a stand for the regional development funding that is due to Hungarian citizens in view of the fact that the European Union should be using these monies to facilitate the cohesion and competitiveness of member states”, he declared.

“Cohesion funding should not be made dependent on macroeconomic, financial or particularly migration criteria, and especially not in such a manner that poorer member states that are performing better find themselves at a disadvantage. In recent years we have had several major disputes with Brussels concerning the evaluation of Hungary, and for instance Brussels has systematically underestimated Hungary’s GDP growth, but overestimated the budget deficit, as a result of which it has put forward totally irrelevant recommendations. However, the numbers have regularly backed-up the Hungarian Government”, Mr. Schanda explained.

At the meeting of the General Affairs Council, the State Secretary drew the attention of member state representatives to the fact that drawing up good regulations is more important than the rapid closure of negotiations. “The negotiations must continue until an agreement is reached on all issues”, he declared.

(Ministry of Innovation and Technology)