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GOVT OFFICIAL: DENMARK OPEN TO COMPROMISE ON COHESION FUNDS IN NEXT EU BUDGET

 

Though Denmark is a net contributor to the European Union and supports cutting cohesion funds for the next EU budget, it understands Hungary’s opposition to budget cuts and is open to a good compromise, state secretary at the Prime Minister’s Office Szabolcs Takács said in Copenhagen after talks with Danish officials. Takács held talks with foreign ministry state secretary Jonas Bering Liisberg, Vibeke Pasternak Jørgensen, chief advisor on EU affairs at the Prime Minister’s Office, as well as the head of the Danish parliament’s foreign affairs committee and the chief advisor to the finance minister. He told MTI over the phone that his discussions focused on the issues of migration and the next EU budget.

Takács said he told his negotiating partners that Hungary’s priority as regards illegal immigration is the protection of the bloc’s Schengen borders and stopping illegal migrants who try to reach Europe via the Western Balkans route. Hungary and Denmark agree on the importance of cooperating with sending countries and that this also has budgetary aspects, he said. Copenhagen, like Budapest, considers the mandatory redistribution of migrants across the EU to be a “misguided and unworkable” idea, he said. Takács highlighted the importance of the Danish parliament’s Thursday decision to centre Denmark’s migration policy on the repatriation of migrants rather than their integration into Danish society.

As regards the budget, Takács said he explained to Danish officials that Hungary does not consider cohesion funds to be humanitarian aid, as the older member states and western corporations also profit off them. He said his partners accepted Hungary’s rejection of the European Commission’s draft budget which would cut cohesion funding for the country by the maximum 24%.