Tibor Navracsics, the minister of regional development, said in Brussels on Thursday that Hungary is “confident” that a deal can be reached with the European Commission which suits both parties and results in the country receiving its EU funding.
“We still intend to conclude talks in the shortest possible timeframe, which is why we’ve intensified consultations and discussions,” the minister told MTI after meeting Didier Reynders, the justice commissioner, and Johannes Hahn, the budget commissioner, on the implementation of “super milestone” measures connected with the release of EU funds. The talks included areas in addition to justice, he noted. “[I’d] like to be able to reach an agreement by the end of November.” He said talks were proceeding smoothly when it came to Erasmus and the issue of universities operating under foundations, and the positions of the sides, he added, were “very close”. Referring to a recent Financial Times report suggesting that the EC may shortly come to a deal with the government on condition that Hungary backs higher EU budget support for Ukraine, he said: “We don’t know anything about this, but we really do want to conclude negotiations as quickly as possible…” Asked about Polish prime minister candidate Donald Tusk’s comment during the election campaign that if he got the top job then Poland’s EU funds would be unblocked, Navracsics said if all funding depended on was who the prime minister happened to be and a country’s kind of government, “then the commission would be essentially distinguishing between some member states on a political basis and this, I think, would be at odds with the [EC’s] remit.”