The Hungarian government is making a concerted effort to sign the national plan for disbursing EU recovery funds, and hopefully a deal can be reached with the European Commission by the end of the year, Tibor Navracsics, the minister for regional development and the uptake of EU funds, said in Luxembourg on Thursday.
After a meeting of EU cohesion ministers in Luxembourg, Navracsics told MTI by phone that he had reviewed the process with Elisa Ferreira, the EU commissioner for cohesion and reforms, and in light of this meeting, an agreement may be signed later this year.
Endeavors are needed so that Hungary and the EC can get to the stage of signing partnership agreements on the financing of EU operative programs, he said, adding that talks on the related partnership agreements were well underway.
Meanwhile, commenting on the two-day congress of the European People’s Party (EPP) in Rotterdam, Navracsics said his participation as a member of the Christian Democratic People’s Party (KDNP) delegation was to strengthen the relationship between the Hungarian government coalition and the EPP.
The departure of former Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk as the EPP’s president opens up a new era for the EPP, he said. Hopefully, institutional ties can be established between Fidesz and the EPP in the future which could lead to anything from full membership to a cooperation agreement. The KDNP may act as a mediator between the parties, he added.
Hungary was set to receive €7.2 billion in grants under the EU’s recovery fund as the Orbán government submitted its plan to the Commission last May. However, Brussels held up the plan over concerns they did not do enough to address corruption.
In this context, the President of the State Audit Office recently said that he believes the Commission is blocking the funds on political grounds and that sovereignty should not be surrendered in exchange for money.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the Finance Ministry published a press release saying that negotiations with the Commission were ongoing and that they were nearing an agreement.
featured image via Zoltán Máthé/MTI