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Hungary will be among the first countries of the European Union to submit their post-pandemic recovery plans to the European Commission, the head of the Prime Minister’s Office told MTI on Saturday.

Gergely Gulyás said that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán had met Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the commission, on Friday, adding that issues around the future of the EU had been included in the meeting’s agenda.

The EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility was also high on the agenda, Gulyás said. Under the RRF, Hungary should get grants totalling 2,511 billion forints, and access to loans of a combined 3,384 billion forints, he added.

Gulyás said that Hungary’s preparations for its recovery plan were in an advanced stage and the plan would be submitted early. He quoted Orbán as saying that the plan was targeting RRF grants rather than loans. He said that the loans were available until the end of 2023, and the government would consider that option for certain projects if necessary, but added that the government wanted to restart the economy with the lowest possible foreign debt ratio.

Concerning the plan, the minister said that its directions were “clear” and community funds would go towards health and infrastructure developments, as well as national and suburban railway projects. Higher-education developments and shifting to a circular economy are also key areas, he said.

Citing information from von der Leyen, Gulyás said that the commission would evaluate reconstruction plans in two months’ time, and pass an early decision concerning the applications.

Government Revokes Controversial NGO Law
Government Revokes Controversial NGO Law

Following an EU Court ruling and the Commission’s infringement procedure, the Fidesz-led government eventually backed off, revoking the law it had brought against foreign-funded NGOs back in 2017. However, from now on the State Audit Office (ÁSZ) will be in charge of reporting on virtually all large organizations, something that further concerns the civil organizations […]Continue reading

Orbán and von der Leyen also touched upon the EU’s relations with Russia and China, as well as vaccinations in the EU, Gulyás said.

featured image: Orbán and von der Leyen in Brussels; via MTI/PM’s Press Office/Vivien Cher Benkő