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Minister of Public Administration: “The country is not only Budapest!”

Hungary Today 2024.05.30.

Tibor Navracsics, Minister of Public Administration and Regional Development, addressed the Macronomx Meetup conference with a presentation titled “Growth and Balance – The Country is not only Budapest!”, reports Index.

The Minister highlighted the challenges stemming from the centralized distribution of EU funds over the past decade, blurring territorial distinctions. Mr. Navracsics expressed optimism about the shift towards a horizontal approach to territorial development since January 1, 2024, now under unified political leadership.

He emphasized the intricate relationship between growth and balance, noting Hungary’s progress towards the EU average, particularly led by Budapest.

However, he acknowledged the regional challenges, citing the West-Transdanubian region’s economic stagnation and labor exodus to neighboring Austria and Germany, exacerbating daily labor shortages.

Tibor Navracsics categorized regions into three development leagues. Budapest and its surroundings comprised the first league, while regions with medium development challenges, like Pest County, fell into the second. He underscored the need to address the development gap, especially in regions below sixty percent of the EU average, such as northern Hungary, stressing that the EU’s development gap now lies between the North and South.

Despite challenges, Minister Navracsics highlighted Hungary’s competitiveness in Central Europe, attributing success to effective EU fund utilization.

He emphasized the need to negotiate with the European Commission to reduce the 55% fund suspension rate and transition towards territorially based development policies, advocating for connectivity between once-divided regions, even beyond Hungary’s borders.

Navracsics raised concerns about educational disparities, noting the concentration of top secondary schools in Budapest. He emphasized the importance of nurturing inner peripheries for balanced growth.

Through his presentation, the Minister articulated a vision of cohesive territorial development, underpinned by effective resource utilization, strategic negotiations, and a commitment to bridging regional divides, ultimately striving for balanced growth across Hungary.

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Via Index; Featured Image: Pixabay

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