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The EU budget must be placed onto equitable foundations

In a statement to Hungarian reporters, the Prime Minister said that we can expect a busy six months, as all issues remain open, including the post-2020 multiannual financial framework, migration, digitalisation and enlargement.

He said that not only would they like to negotiate these issues, but also close the majority of them. According to the Prime Minister, the schedule is extremely ambitious, adding that in his opinion its realisation is not impossible, but “needs us to perform a miracle”.

Mr. Orbán said the majority of his talks with the President of the Council concerned the EU’s post-2020 multiannual financial framework, in view of the fact that Charles Michel has convened an extraordinary EU summit on the topic for 20 February.

He said Hungary has not presented its national numbers with relation to the budget as yet, because the negotiations are not yet at that phase.

He explained that the draft budget put forward so far does not change the bad practises of the previous seven years. “It includes injustices such as the fact that poorer countries’ share of the funding distributed in Brussels is 5 percent, while their populations make up 20 percent of Europe. There appears to be no improvement with relation to remedying these injustices”, he underlined.

The Prime Minister said further discussions can be expected with other countries that, similarly to Hungary, have a problem with the budget’s “fundamental, intellectual and conceptual foundations”. At Saturday’s session of the Friends of Cohesion group in Portugal, he briefed these countries on his concrete proposals in the interests of restoring the conceptual correctness of the budget, which he also presented to the President of the European Council on Monday, he stated.

“We want an equitable budget. If this comes into being, then the Hungarians will find their account in it, meaning the combination of numbers that favours them”, Mr. Orbán said.

Mr. Orbán said that in his opinion the 20 February summit does not mean that the negotiations must come to an end. “It would be a good thing, bust according to Hungary’s standpoint the quality of the budget is more important than the date of its adoption”, the Prime Minister added.

The European Union budget for the period 2021-2027, which will be the central topic of the meeting convened for 20 February, is dividing the 27 member states because of their differing priorities and Brexit. Great Britain’s exit from the European Union means there will be less funding to distribute, while the new European Commission headed by Ursula von der Leyen would like to spend more on climate change and migration issues.

The European Union is proposing a budget that corresponds to 1.11 percent of the gross national income (GNI) of the 27 member states, the European Parliament has made a stand in favour of 1.3 percent, but several countries would not like it to be more than 1 percent.