The European Commission’s budget proposal for the next seven-year cycle and its programme aimed at supporting the reconstruction of national economies after the coronavirus epidemic “give no reason for hope”, MEPs of Hungary’s allied ruling Fidesz and Christian Democratic parties said in a statement. Whereas it is welcome that the 750 billion euro reconstruction package announced earlier in the day will not divert multiannual financial framework funds, the EC plans to finance the reconstruction programme using long-term loans, which member states would repay in proportion to their contributions to the EU budget over a period of 30 years. Hungary contributes 1% to the budget, and would be required to repay 1% of the 750 billion euros, that is 7.5 billion euros. “In view of this, it is unacceptable that Hungary would only receive 8.1 billion euros in grants from the EU,” Tamás Deutsch, the delegation’s head, said.
MEP Enikő Győri said the pandemic was likely to have a less serious impact on the Hungarian economy, but it would be unjust to allocate less funding to central and eastern European states precisely when “they have successfully managed the epidemic” and “kept reducing their state debts through fiscal discipline for years”. The crisis has impacted all countries and it is important to distribute reconstruction funds in a fair way, on equal conditions between countries in and outside the euro zone, she said.
MEP Balázs Hidvéghi said that Hungary’s position on the common agricultural policy has remained unchanged: its budget must be kept at the current level in real value. The new, much higher environmental requirements put a great extra burden on farmers, he said, adding that the EU’s current target figures “seem impossible to meet”.