The double standards applied in the proposal regarding the European Union’s financial framework for the period between 2021 and 2027 are unacceptable as is the reduction of cohesion funds and the funds of the common agricultural policy, Justice Minister Judit Varga pointed out after she had talks on Monday in Brussels with the minister for European affairs of Finland currently holding the EU presidency.

The Minister informed the Hungarian news agency MTI that in its current form Hungary rejects the proposal partly because cohesion funds would decrease most in the case of the Central European region, Hungary in particular, which is, in her view, completely contrary to the principles and objectives of this policy.

Cohesion policy works well, it must be continued. The rules cannot be changed mid-way, and it is impossible to start distributing funds according to a logic that is contrary to that which prevailed earlier, she said.

She highlighted that they would also seek to introduce a kind of bonus system “with a perverse logic” as part of which, for instance, Member States failing to honour their undertakings regarding the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions could be eligible for additional grants from the cohesion funds, while “good pupils” meeting their obligations, such as Hungary, would not be entitled to a single euro cent on such grounds.

Mrs Varga also spoke about the planned reduction of the funds of the Common Agricultural Policy. “We cannot forget about farmers either; we are unable to accept this significant reduction that is proposed for Hungary also in the area of the Common Agricultural Policy,” she stressed, adding that farmers are required to meet ever-mounting challenges, but they are not given any additional funds for the purpose.

The Minister firmly rejected the idea that community funds should be tied to conditions regarding the rule of law, saying that the EU continues to exert pressure on Member States which reject migration, and this is now being “dressed up in the disguise of the rule of law”.

She said the Finnish EU presidency is very ambitious, they seek to conclude the budgetary negotiations before the end of this year. However, the Hungarian government takes the view that quality is more important than speed.

The outgoing European Commission seeks to create new, legally unfounded political means in addition to the existing methods. This has nothing to do with the budget, and will likewise not promote financial discipline, she stated.

Finally, she expressed hope that the new Brussels commission to take office in November will be faithful to the letter of the Treaties, will not unnecessarily seek to extend its powers by exerting political pressure, and will take meaningful measures in the interest of managing actual problems.

(Ministry of Justice/MTI)