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EU Funds Arriving in Hungary for Ukrainian-related Projects

Hungary Today 2023.06.26.

Although Hungary and the European Union are still far from an agreement on EU funds, it can be said that money is still coming into the country for various projects. Recently, Hungarian projects have received around 120 billion forints (EUR 325 million) in EU funding, but it is worth noting that these are Ukrainian-related projects, Világgazdaság reports.

The European Commission has announced a total of €6.2 billion for various investments. A total of 107 projects have been announced as winners under the 2022 calls for proposals, which will be financed from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), allocated directly to the Commission.

The CEF is essentially for the development of trans-European transport networks, and it is good news that seven of the selected projects are Hungarian ones.

Three of these are specifically coordinated by the Ministry of Construction and Transport. Világgazdaság pointed out that a total of 17 Hungarian-related projects were originally submitted for this funding, and there are “painful rejections,” but there is no reason for dissatisfaction. However, they added that only investments related to Ukraine’s integration into the EU were given the green light.

This was actually confirmed by the European Commission. In a Facebook post announcing the winners of the program, they wrote that “these projects will also support the EU-Ukraine #SolidarityLanes, set up to facilitate Ukraine’s exports and imports, by improving cross-border connections between Ukraine, Moldova, and Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland.”

The big Hungarian project to win on its own is the modernization of the 46.9-kilometer Debrecen-Nyíregyháza railway line in eastern Hungary, receiving €256 million in funding.

Around €68 million has been allocated to increase the capacity of the Slovak-Hungarian-Ukrainian rail border.

From a Hungarian point of view, this is essentially about upgrading the bottleneck transshipment capacity in the Záhony and Eperjeske areas and rehabilitating the track network serving this. Border control capacity would also be increased.

A further €6 million has been allocated to the concept of improving road border crossings on the Hungarian-Ukrainian border.

In addition to the projects with the coordination of the ministry, there are also joint Hungarian-Romanian-Slovak and Austrian-Czech-Croatian-Hungarian-Slovenian investments, as well as other projects involving several Member States, including Hungary. These cover water, road, and air transport.

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Meanwhile, Tamás Deutsch, a Fidesz MEP, recently pointed out that Hungary and Poland have not received a single cent from the EU’s recovery fund. He added, however, that the European Commission has given millions of euros to Ukraine since the war began.

This raises the question: are the funds for member states’ development not reaching the countries because Brussels has given them to Ukraine?”,

the politician asked.

According to the MEP, it is not manageable that every week the European Commission comes up with the idea of one or two or three billion in extra aid for Ukraine, but no one has any precise data on the exact amount of money allocated to Ukraine so far.

Deutsch emphasized that the EU budget was adopted by the European Council and the European Parliament in December 2020, when there was no war in Ukraine, so the need for aid arose in the following two-year period. It is “reasonable to assume” that the billions allocated to Ukraine were originally earmarked for other budgetary purposes, and that they were the result of transfers from other EU programs, whether authorized or not, the politician said.

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Featured photo via Pixabay

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