Regional Development Minister Tibor Navracsics told a conference on Tuesday that he trusted the government, before the end of next month, would be able to reach a definite agreement with the European Commission to unfreeze Hungary’s funds.
Minister Navracsics told the conference organized by Portfolio.hu that the next and final round of talks on topics related to unblocking the funding would start on Thursday. Navracsics said the goal was that as soon as talks are completed EU funding of the projects could start immediately. According to the minister, Hungary accessed 94% of community funding for the 2014-2020 budget period, the fifth-highest ratio among EU members. Development priorities for the 2021-2027 period include developments to improve economic competitiveness, as well as infrastructure and job-creating projects, Navracsics said. The government also aims to make Hungary one of the five “most liveable” EU countries, he said, adding that the country would have 14,000 billion forints for that purpose. Financing of rural development projects was underway, he said, while operative and cohesion financing had been halted. Hungary has accessed 3% of the funds for 2021-27, Navracsics said. Some of those funds have gone to EU projects pre-financed from central coffers, while other monies are for organisational development and infrastructure completed in preparation for further EU-financed projects. Navracsics said sectoral operative programmes would continue, with a new one targeting digital renewal, which would tap almost 800 billion forints. The programme will cover “the whole spectrum, from infrastructure development through the education of digital skills,” he added.