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Feb 05, 2018

Hungary has confirmed that there are no “irreconcilable differences” between the goals of the government and the EC's position on the budget

Hungary has confirmed that there are no “irreconcilable differences” between the goals of the government and the position of the European Commission concerning the community’s budget

Hungary has confirmed that there are no “irreconcilable differences” between the goals of the government and the position of the European Commission concerning the community’s budget.

János Lázár, the minister heading the Prime Minister’s Office, said it was necessary to continue Europe’s cohesion policy.

The minister made the remarks following talks between representatives of the Visegrád countries and four other EU members, as well as Günther Oettinger, EU commissioner for the community’s budget and human resources.

Lázár said that the Hungarian government wants to see one which “ensures a development in which Hungary is a net contributor in the subsequent budgeting period”.

Participants in the talks agreed that contributions may need to be raised and did not exclude the possibility that they may increase their payments to 1.1 percent of the gross national income (GNI) in the future.

The minister called reduced bureaucracy a shared interest and urged that procedures to implement the budget are made faster and cheaper. Oettinger said the participants had agreed on most issues concerning the budget.

He added that the EU must not give up its common goals because of Brexit. He welcomed participants’ willingness to raise payments, and highlighted the importance of those funds in terms of research, innovation, handling issues around migration, as well as border protection and security.

Commissioner Oettinger also said that cohesion funding was instrumental in increasing the competitiveness and economic weight of Europe, as well as in ensuring solidarity and sustainability within the community, and called for making relevant legislation simpler.

The EU must demonstrate that the community is able to act, to cooperate,and is capable of good governance despite hard times, he added.