(L – R) Johannes Hahn, Viktor Orbán
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, Finance Minister Mihály Varga, Regional Development Minister Tibor Navracsics and Justice Minister Judit Varga met in Budapest on Tuesday with EU Commissioner for Budget and Administration Johannes Hahn to discuss reforms needed for the release of EU funds.
Last week the European Commission announced a technical agreement with the Hungarian government on judicial reforms related to horizontal eligibility criteria that could free up more than €13 billion in Hungarian funds blocked by the conditionality procedure.
It is pure coincidence that Budget Commissioner Johannes Hahn arrived in Budapest on Tuesday, as he is holding talks with all member-state governments on the mid-term review of the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). However, the commissioner himself indicated that he will definitely consult with the government on the Erasmus issue as part of the ongoing rule of law talks.
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán (2nd right), Justice Minister Judit Varga (right), Regional Development Minister Tibor Navracsics (3rd right) and Johannes Hahn, member of the European Commission (left), at the meeting in the Carmelite Monastery. (Photo: Zoltán Fischer/Prime Minister’s Press Office/MTI).
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán received Johannes Hahn, a member of the European Commission who is in Hungary for talks, on Tuesday, Bertalan Havasi, the prime minister’s press officer, told MTI. The meeting took place at the Carmelite Monastery and was accompanied by Regional Development Minister Tibor Navracsics, Justice Minister Judit Varga and State Secretary János Bóka, the statement said.
So far, little is known about what was discussed in the meetings with the ministers and Viktor Orbán.
Judit Varga posted a photo together on her social media page and wrote that they had a professional discussion about the mid-term review of the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). During the meeting, she pointed out to Commissioner Hahn that “Hungarians believe in constructive dialogue based on mutual understanding and value good governance,” she added.
Tibor Navracsics, on his Facebook page, described the talks with Johannes Hahn, who came to Budapest for the mid-term review of the multi-annual financial framework, as a step forward. “The clarification of the contentious issues with the European Commission is progressing according to plan,” the minister wrote.
The longest briefing came from the finance minister.
The European Commission owes Hungary considerable sums, which inhibits the performance of the Hungarian economy,
Mihály Varga said after talks with Johannes Hahn.
“In addition to lifting the withholding of reconstruction funds, Hungary also expects a clear answer to the question of how the Commission will support member states protecting the Schengen borders in financing the ever-increasing migration burden,” he said in a statement.
However, it is not known what answer Johannes Hahn gave the minister.
Featured image: MTI/Prime Minister’s Press Office/Zoltán Fischer