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János Kendernay, co-leader of opposition LMP, discussed the European Union’s green policies and the monitoring of how EU coronavirus recovery funds are spent, among other matters, with Olivér Várhelyi, the European commissioner for enlargement and neighbourhood policy, in Brussels on Tuesday.

Kendernay said in an online press conference that his party approved of the green policies proposed by the European Commission but the Hungarian government had the wrong attitude to the matter.

Meanwhile, Kendernay said he had thanked Várhelyi for the EC’s decision to extend the deadline for collecting signatures in support of a European citizens’ initiative on protecting national minority regions.

The European Citizens’ Initiative for the Equality of the Regions and Sustainability of the Regional Cultures attracted some 1.2 million signatures by the original May 7 deadline, but the campaign had failed to collect the required minimum number of signatures from seven EU member states.

On another subject, Kendernay said a solution was needed regarding the post-WW2 Benes decrees, a series of laws that ruled on the expulsion of many ethnic Germans and Hungarians from Czechoslovakia who had settled there during or before the German occupation. He added, however, that the foreign ministry had not responded to LMP’s enquiry in the matter.

European Court of Human Rights Condemns Slovakia for Still Enforcing Beneš Decrees

Meanwhile, he said the EU’s recovery from the economic downturn caused by the pandemic should be based on “a green turnaround”, social benefits and strengthening local economies.

Kendernay said the EC also bore responsibility for “EU monies not always making it to their intended users in Hungary”, urging the commission to keep a close eye on how recovery funds are spent.

He also conveyed a request by Europe’s green mayors for them to have direct access to EU funds. He also urged a speedy conclusion to the ongoing Article 7 procedure against Hungary.

In the featured photo: LMP co-leader János Kendernay. Photo by Tibor Illyés/MTI