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Feb 24, 2020

PM Orbán calls it "unacceptable" that four EU members reject EC budget proposal

“If we wish to see an ambitious Europe, we need an ambitious budget,” PM Orbán said during an EU summit in Brussels on Friday.

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has called it "unacceptable" that four EU members rejected EC President Charles Michel's proposal for contributing 1.074 percent of their gross national income to the EU budget for 2021-27.

According to MTI, the countries insisted that their contribution cannot top 1 percent of their economic output. “If we wish to see an ambitious Europe, we need an ambitious budget,” PM Orbán said during an EU summit in Brussels on Friday.

The prime minister said the Friends of Cohesion group of countries suggest that the calculations should be based on the European Parliament’s proposal for each member state contributing 1.3 percent of their GNI to the EU budget.

“If Europe really wants to make progress in the fields of border defense, digitalization, industrial policy, agriculture, cohesion and the infrastructure, it cannot get stuck at 1 percent. All countries should raise their contribution to 1.3 percent,” he said.

PM Orbán said he saw no hope for a compromise between the two positions. “If there is no agreement on the revenue side, it makes no sense to speak about distribution,” he said. “We are very far from the realistic possibility to make a deal today.”

The prime minister said it is “very likely” that another summit would be needed to reach an agreement. He said the practice of richer countries contributing a lower share of their GNI to the EU budget than the poorer ones should be discontinued.

The prime minister also highlighted how the EU summit focused on the future of Europe.

“The debates centered on how ambitious a Europe we are striving for. If we want to maintain Europe as it is, we need an internal market based on the pillars of farm subsidies and cohesion funds,” he said.

PM Orbán said that the figures should be brought in line with the long-term vision of the European Union. The more ambitious goals cannot be financed from the community funds that were available under the 2014-2020 financial framework. The new challenges the EU is going to face will require further funds, he said.

Photo credit:  alfahir.hu