Photo: MTI

Capital to receive direct EU funding for green development, mayor says

Karacsony: Rule-of-law procedure could leave municipalities short of funding

Gergely Karacsony, the mayor of Budapest and the vice-president of the Hungarian Association of Local Councils, warned on Friday that localities could miss out on funding because of the rule-of-law procedure the European Commission has launched against Hungary.

After a meeting of the organisation’s presidium in Budapest, Karacsony said local Budapest councils and the association would work tirelessly to ensure a deal between the European Commission and the government can be struck on ending the rule-of-law procedure.

Even though the commission’s “serious criticisms of Hungary are legitimate”, local council leaders have an interest in ensuring that Hungary can gain access to EU resources, he added.

Any deal between the commission and government must guarantee the stability of the local council system as well as cooperation between local councils and the central government based on partnership, he said.

Meanwhile, the association’s president, Gyorgy Gemesi, the mayor of Godollo, complained about the planned abolition of the local business tax which he said would deprive local councils of a thousand billion forints, putting the maintenance of public services in direct jeopardy.

Capital to receive direct EU funding for green development, mayor says

The European Commission is directly funding green developments in Budapest, as part of a mission to aid achieving the 2030 climate goals in 100 cities in Europe, Mayor Gergely Karacsony said on Friday.

The European Union’s Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities mission is also supporting Miskolc in northern Hungary and Pecs in the south, he said in a Facebook post. The mission’s aim is to help European cities achieve their climate goals by 2030 and become “experimentation and innovation hubs to enable all European cities to follow suit by 2050”, the mission’s website said.

The 360 million euro programme allows a great degree of independence to cities, and Budapest will have to draft a “climate city agreement”, detailing all concepts for sectors of city management to achieve climate neutrality, Karacsony said.

“Budapest has received a great opportunity we must take. We will do everything in our power, and ask for the government’s support and cooperation,” he said.

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