The European Commission's building in Brussels – Photo: wikipedia

Navracsics: Hungary-EC agreement on funding transfers expected by year-end

The minister for regional development said on Tuesday that he trusted that an agreement with the European Commission allowing Hungary to receive all the European Union funding it is entitled to would be signed by the end of this year.

Commenting on reports that an agreement on the release of EU funds to Hungary may be in the pipeline, Tibor Navracsics told journalists that he had been optimistic in recent months about the progress of talks and today’s press reports confirmed this.

According to the Financial Times newspaper, citing three officials, the EC is considering unblocking funding of around 13 billion euros to before the end of November.

“All issues have been discussed”, he said, adding that an agreement “on everything” was close at hand, including on public interest foundations, cohesion monies and recovery funds. Work is under way on responding to questions received from the EC last week, and detailed answers will be given on the working conditions at the National Judicial Council, he added.

In response to a question, the minister said the EC had been communicating its position through the press for some time, and no official contact had been made on the matter.

Reacting to the suggestion that funding transfers may be contingent on the Hungarian government approving an increase in the EU budget and hefty financial support for Ukraine, he said no such request had been received. He added that he did not believe the two issues were connected.

Answering a question, Navracsics confirmed that once the EU resources are transferred, teachers’ wage hikes would be made.

In response to a question about recovery funding, he said an agreement was signed on support last year, and talks were nearing completion on credit of 1,500 billion forints. He projected that an agreement on the latter may be completed in November and no resources would be lost.

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