Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has revealed that the European Union’s draft budget for 2021-2027 will be the last in which Hungary would not be a net contributor.
“After this one, we will transition to another club,” the prime minister said. After this next funding cycle, Hungary will be paying more into the EU budget than it will receive, he said.
PM Orbán argued that the end of the next funding cycle would coincide with the end of a historical era in which the central European region had to catch up with the “historically more fortunate” European countries.
The prime minister said Hungary therefore wants a fair EU budget. It also acknowledges that “everyone’s budget will shrink” after Britain’s exit from the bloc, but this should be implemented in a fair way so that “it affects countries in similar positions in similar ways”.
PM Orbán said that though “every forint counts” for Hungary, the Hungarian economy was “long past the stage when EU funds were fundamental in shaping the country’s situation”.
The prime minster said that Hungary is more in need of a market than money from Europe, arguing that “if we have a market, we can make a living from it.”
The prime minister called the preservation of the common market the number one issue in the current debate, saying that the amount of funds to be distributed to member states was only secondary.