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The opposition LMP, with the backing of the other opposition parties, is proposing a parliamentary session on the use of Hungary’s share of the European Union’s development and crisis management fund, which comes to 18,500 billion forints (EUR 51,5 billion) in the 2021-2027 financial framework.

Party co-leader Erzsébet Schmuck told an online press conference on Wednesday that the European Union expected plans on using the funding to be submitted by early April. The Hungarian parliament should also discuss the plan, she said.

The use of the EU funds “cannot be [ruling] Fidesz’s private affair, and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán cannot be allowed to decide about it alone,” Schmuck said.

The government has already published the first draft of its plan, along with an operative programme, she noted. “Surprisingly, this extremely important step is not backed up by a communication campaign,” she said.

While the monies can be ploughed into projects including the development of education, digitalisation and increasing social cohesion, 5,000 billion forints are targeted funding for transition to a green economy, Schmuck said.

That is the largest funding yet to support green energy, transition to a circular economy and climate and environment protection projects. The development of a digital economy and education also receives unprecedented funding, Schmuck said.

Karácsony, Ujhelyi Turn to EC over European Recovery Fund
Karácsony, Ujhelyi Turn to EC over European Recovery Fund

Gergely Karácsony, the mayor of Budapest, and István Ujhelyi, an opposition Socialist (MSZP) MEP have turned to Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission’s president, over 5,472 billion euros of European Union recovery funds that Hungary is slated to receive. Ujhelyi told an online briefing that the EP had made funding conditional on the government […]Continue reading

The resources can be used to lay the groundwork for a “liveable future” or to cause “enormous damage” by using it badly, Schmuck said. The monies cannot dissipate through channels of corruption or bolster Fidesz’s power ahead of next year’s general elections, she added.

featured image: Erzsébet Schmuck; via Szilárd Koszticsák/MTI