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Orbán: The European Commission's budget proposal is unjust

"The budget proposal prepared by the outgoing European Commission is unjust, and we want justice"

- said Viktor Orbán after the meeting of the prime ministers of the V4 countries at the start of the Friends of Cohesion summit in Prague on Tuesday. Orbán stressed that the budget proposal currently debated all over Europe is from the outgoing European Commission, and bears all of its mistakes. 

The Hungarian Prime Minister said that four things have to change in order for the EU budget to be fair:

  • The system of rebates has to be abolished because if member states' contributions are recalculated with the rebates taken into account, the picture is rather unfair.
  • The proposal has to mention that a great portion of whatever funds Central Europeans receive eventually ends up returning to Western member states.
  • The intention to reduce cohesion funds is unfair too, as "the poorer somebody is, the more money is taken away from them, and the richer somebody is, the less."
  • It is also necessary to increase flexibility, but the Commission's proposal "is headed in the other direction," making the budget more inflexible.

Answering a question, Orbán pointed out the Horizon research and innovation framework programme as the most unfair, saying 95% of its funds are channelled to the old member states, and the newer ones only get 5%. "Some sort of a national element has to be introduced here," he added.

Viktor Orbán said that according to the government's calculations, Hungary would have to spend 2.5% of the Hungarian GDP on reshaping the economy in order to achieve the 2050 carbon neutrality goal, while for the Netherlands, that ratio is only 0.5%.

"It is obvious that a country's level of general economic development determines how much of a burden it is to create a carbon-neutral economy. Hungary is ready to have a carbon-neutral economy by 2050, but we would like to see the funds for financing that goal in the budget on a fair basis." 

Viktor Orbán emphasised that the budget is unfair no matter where they look at it, saying "what we want is a fair and just budget."

Regarding the EU enlargement, the Hungarian Prime Minister expressed his disappointment over the EU not commencing accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania, and to counter that bad decision, the negotiations with countries that are already in talks with the EU have to be sped up.

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