There are unfounded claims in the EU’s recommendations regarding Hungary. It is regrettable that the European Union’s activities related to the management of the economy are watered down with politically debatable topics that are irrelevant to the subject in hand, Finance Minister Mihály Varga stated at the Brussels meeting of EU finance ministers (Ecofin).

The Minister highlighted that the country-specific recommendations relating to Hungary are based not on actual facts, but on double standards, and in consequence, Hungary did not support their adoption and protested against the procedure in a separate statement.

The Hungarian government sincerely hopes that the outcome of the European parliamentary elections held in May will have a positive impact on the operation of the EU’s institutions as well, and that politics will stop creeping into professional matters, Mr Varga highlighted.

He said, according to the intention of legislators, the European Semester is part of the EU’s framework system for the management of the economy, and its country-specific recommendations cover areas related to the economy. The Minister highlighted that the results of the Hungarian economy are indisputable as in the first quarter of this year the Hungarian growth rate was almost three times the EU average, the level of unemployment in Hungary is one of the lowest in Europe, and wages are also continuously rising. The goal of the Hungarian government is to protect these results, and to achieve that our growth exceed the average of EU countries by minimum 2 percentage points against the background of a continuously decreasing sovereign debt rate.

The part relating to the Hungarian judiciary of the document that was on the agenda applies double standards: it is unfounded and does not reflect reality as the relevant statutory environment has not changed compared with the year before when no recommendations of this nature were made, the Minister pointed out, mentioning that this cannot constitute the basis of a dialogue about economic policy.

Hungary believes it also gives rise to concern that the European Commission did not take into consideration the Hungarian position relating to the disputed parts. It is regrettable that the amendments proposed by the Finnish presidency to the text likewise failed to manage the Hungarian concerns in a meaningful manner. During the wording process, we did not succeed in reaching an agreement; therefore, Hungary abstained upon the adoption of the recommendations and attached a unilateral statement to the protocol of the Ecofin meeting in connection with the unjustified claims relating to the independence of the judiciary and the application of double standards, the Minister said.