Janos Boka – Photo: Facebook

Boka: EU lagging behind global competitors

The European Union today lags behind other global players in terms of world economic competitiveness, Janos Boka, the minister for European Union affairs, said on Friday.

Summarising an article he wrote in Eurazsia magazine, Boka said in a post on Facebook that the EU faced structural problems, explaining that whereas in the past it had guaranteed access to cheap energy and raw materials, today the global market and the connectivity between Western and Eastern technologies were under threat.

Also, the “instinct” of European institutions, particularly the European Commission, to “overregulate” was leading to European industry policy becoming a “planned economy”, the minister said.

Thirdly, he argued that the central and eastern European region, “which in the past decade has been the fastest-growing region”, was being “systematically held back” rather than being used as Europe’s engine of growth.

Boka said developments over the past decades had shown that interdependence among economic players could also become a source of conflict, so it would be worth considering whether interdependence should be reduced or, in some cases, eliminated.

Hungary’s government, he said, believed direct conflict between the major economic players could be avoided. “And this is in our fundamental interest, and accordingly, de-risking should also be reduced to a reasonable level,” he added.

The minister said Hungary had an interest in the development of a trade policy that was not directed against any given economic player, but served to broaden European economic interests and strategic autonomy, and was based on detailed and objective impact studies.

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