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Hanko: Improving Europe’s competitiveness crucial

It is crucially important to improve Europe's competitiveness, the state secretary for innovation and higher education said on Friday, noting that 15 years ago Europe accounted for 25 percent of global scientific output as against less than 20 percent today.
1. March 2024 16:42

Balazs Hanko told a press conference after an informal meeting of EU education ministers in Brussels that 12 European countries used to be among the world’s 25 best innovators compared with eight today.

The Hungarian government is calling for EU financial support for research in central European countries which can then be used to the benefit of the Hungarian economy and Europe more broadly, Hanko said.

He said the informal meeting focused on the mobility of university students. Brussels has excluded some 200,000 Hungarian students and nearly 20,000 Hungarian teachers and researchers from the Erasmus-plus programme “because the autonomous, competitive and flexible Hungarian model … was disliked by certain decision-makers in Brussels,” he added.

The state secretary said he had briefed the education ministers about Hungary’s newly launched Pannonia Programme and HU-rizon programme. The Pannonia Programme will help some 8,000 students to study abroad using a central budget of 10 billion forints.

Hanko held talks about Erasmus-plus with top leaders in charge of education in the European Commission. He said he had asked the body last November to extend the application deadline for Erasmus to Hungarian universities because the necessary resources were available.

Commenting on suspended Erasmus resources, he said the Hungarian government was determined to reach a consensus with the sides in question so that Hungarian universities can again apply for funding.

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