Hungary is prepared to increase its contribution to EU budget

 Hungary is prepared to increase its contribution to the budget of the European Union to 1.2 per cent of the gross national income (GNI) in the next seven-year fiscal cycle as with the planned departure of the United Kingdom and the emergence of new challenges there will be more responsibilities falling on fewer contributors, János Lázár, the Minister heading the Prime Minister’s Office stated at a conference held in Brussels on Monday.

In his speech the Minister heading the Prime Minister’s Office pointed out above all that the EU will have to rise to the challenges it is facing against the background of the fact that one of the Community’s important countries is leaving, and in consequence more responsibilities will fall on fewer contributors. In light of this circumstance the contributions of Member States will have to increase. 

“We are convinced that it is not possible to create more Europe out of less money. If there are more responsibilities, they will cost more without doubt”, he said, adding that Hungary is prepared to increase its contribution to 1.2 per cent of the gross national income (GNI) as are several other Member States in the Central and Eastern European region. 

Mr Lázár also said that he is expecting an “actively aggressive, brave and enterprising” budget proposal from the European Commission for the next cycle as the current budget was “defensive” and served to respond to a crisis. He pointed out that in addition to the goals identified in the founding treaties of the EU, a strong Europe must be created, and to this end it is necessary to enhance security and competitiveness. He also stressed that the budget must be made simpler and more transparent, abolishing, for instance, the rebates previously negotiated by the United Kingdom. 

In the context of Cohesion Fund grants, the Minister said that everyone benefited from them, and they proved to be good investments for the net contributor countries. He also added that the Hungarian Government would like to see Hungary become a net contributor country within the shortest possible time. 

The budget of the European Union between 2014 and 2020 was set at EUR 963 billion which amounts to approximately 1 per cent of the combined GNI of the Member States. According to data published on the EU’s website Hungary’s payments to the EU budget in 2015 amounted to 0.98 per cent of Hungary’s GNI. 

As expected the European Commission will submit its proposal regarding the next seven-year fiscal cycle in May; however, the final decision will have to be adopted by EU Member States and the European Parliament.

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