“In recent years, European economic policy has been ‘ruined’ in Brussels, and we will soon be seeing the obvious repercussions of this”, Mr. Orbán highlighted. “We can already count on the fact that the Eurozone will definitely lose its growth capability this year, meaning growth will stop”, he said, adding that bad economic policy could also have effects outside the zone, including in Central Europe.
“Although Hungary has done so, most countries have not reduced taxes, have not promoted competition, and have introduced protective measures that were bad for the economy”, the Prime Minister stated. “Overall, the competitiveness of the European economy has fallen by global proportions, and the price of this must be paid”, he emphasised.
Mr. Orbán told reporters that the current meeting was about what must be done in the interests of enabling the European economy to one again enter a growth trajectory and regain its competitiveness.
“The previous budget is just ending, and we must now draw up a new one, and at the meeting we discussed how this should be realised so that it leads to the growth and expansion of the European economy, and to people’s well-being.”, he pointed out. “We are the beginning of the debate, and positions are still very far apart”, he said.
The Prime Minister said that in his opinion member states must agree on the fact that the regaining of the EU’s competitiveness is paramount. “And this requires a budget that provides member states with the highest possible level of flexibility, in addition to which countries that are prepared to reduce taxes must be encouraged to do so”, he stated.
With relation to the fact that Great Britain’s membership of the European Union was terminated on Friday, Mr. Orbán said: “The exit of the British and the fact that everyone in Great Britain is alive today indicates that life also exists outside the European Union”.
In reply to a question on whether Fidesz is planning to leave the European People’s Party, the Prime Minister said no, adding that he is not planning any such announcement.
The Friends of Cohesion group was established in 2005 following a Polish initiative, to represent the interests of beneficiary member states against countries that are net contributors, to draw attention to relevant issues within the field of cohesion policy, and to coordinate positions and resolve related disputes. The members of the group held their first session in 2012.