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Government to increase defence spending by 30 percent next year

Hungary's government considers it important to boost the country's defence capabilities and will therefore spend 30 percent more resources on defence in 2022 than this year, state secretary at the Foreign Ministry Tamas Menczer said in Nagykovacsi on Saturday.

Speaking at the opening of a festival of military culture, Menczer emphasised the need for a strong Hungarian defence because “we live in dangerous times. In addition to the pandemic, we are exposed to the danger of illegal mass migration, which we must defend ourselves against.”

Since the 2015 migration crisis, terrorists with a migrant background have murdered more than 300 innocent people in Europe and injured over 1,300, he said.

This is an issue of the present and the past, Menczer said, as the international coalition’s withdrawal from Afghanistan has turned the country into a potential source of mass migration, from which 4 million internally displaced people are already on their way. Half of the country’s population of 40 million lives on humanitarian aid, and millions and tens of millions could decide at any time to start off towards Europe because of their living conditions, he warned.

Hungary’s defence spending will exceed 1,000 billion forints (EUR 2.8bn) for the first time next year, about half of which will be spent on developments, the state secretary said. Hungary will meet its NATO commitment to spend 2 percent of its GDP on defence expenditures by 2024 at the latest, he added. And we started meeting the commitment to spend 20 percent of the defence budget on developments already five years before the deadline, Menczer said.

Compared to 2010, the amount of spending on defence and development of the military forces will more than triple next year, the state secretary said.

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