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State secretary calls for boosting member states’ competencies

A government official called for more room for manoeuvre for EU member states on economic reforms, after attending a meeting of the EU's Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) in Brussels on Thursday.

Tibor Toth, the state secretary for macro-economy and international affairs, said on the sidelines of the meeting that they had discussed a proposed reform of the EU economic governance framework.

The proposal, a priority of the Spanish presidency, has made “significant progress, also thanks to Hungary’s proposals”, he said.

Hungary proposed three amendments, Toth said. First, “it is important that a classification should be decided on the basis of objective indices rather than subjective bilateral meetings and evaluations of the European Commission,” he said.

Hungary also proposed allowing member states more room for manoeuvre in the reform procedure, Toth said. “It seems the Spanish presidency’s stance is shifting closer to ours.”

The third proposal was for defence spending to not be included in the debt curve defined under the Maastricht criteria. That proposal is expected to be included in the economic reform package, he said.

While Hungary supported the reform package, many details will have to cleared up before it can be finalised, he said.

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