We reject the withdrawal of EU funds as a form of political punishment!

2019. 09. 19.

Press release by MEP Tamás Deutsch 

The European Council presented the EU 2020 budget to the European Parliament yesterday. The draft presented by the Finnish Presidency was criticized by several MEPs on a number of points.  Fidesz MEP Tamás Deutsch welcomed the EPP Group’s support of his proposed amendments, which aim to increase regional and rural development funds by EUR 6 billion in next year’s EU budget.

Amendments proposed by Tamás Deutsch aim to increase regional and rural development programs by more than EUR 6 billion in next year’s EU budget. The Hungarian politician said that the problem of “lack of liquidity” that occurred at the end of the previous MFF should be avoided and that sufficient resources should be made available to pay the bills of projects already implemented in Member States. Tamás Deutsch’s proposals are supported by the European People’s Party Group.

According to the Council’s reading, representatives of Member State governments would lock EUR 400 million of migration management funds. As member of the Committee on Budgets, Tamás Deutsch noted that this stance fully reflects the Hungarian position, so the delegation would fight for it in the European Parliament as well. “We cannot spend EU funds on objectives promoting immigration,” said the Fidesz MEP. “Thus we will follow the governments’ position in the EP vote.”

During the debate, Tamás Deutsch highlighted that the EU 2020 budget is the last budget of the current seven-year financial cycle, so it is important to underline that the proposal for the next 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) in its current form is unacceptable. The European Commission’s draft would apply double standards and would also significantly reduce regional development and agricultural resources. This is unacceptable for Hungary. We reject the subjective use of community resources as a political punishment connected to the so-called requirements of the rule of law; punishing via political charges the Regions, which are performing well in terms of  economic growth and job creation.

EU development funds are not a charitable donation. Hungarian regions are entitled to these funds according to objective criteria. No institution of the European Union should be allowed to treat these development funds as a tool for exerting political pressure.

Background: The draft budget of the European Commission foresees commitments of EUR 168.27 billion and payments of EUR 153.62 billion (GNI 0.99% and 0.9% respectively). The Council cut this to a level of commitments of EUR 1.5 billion and aof payment of half a billion euro (GNI 0.98% and 0.9% respectively). The European Parliament will vote on its reading at its plenary session at the end of October, followed by a 21-day negotiation session with Council representatives. If an agreement is reached by the EP and the Council, the final vote on the EU 2020 budget is expected in November.