15 Apr

Hungary finds the disciplined, strict control and monitoring of the use of the aid disbursed to Ukraine important, the Hungarian Finance Minister said in Luxembourg on Friday. 

Speaking to Hungarian journalists after a Council meeting composed of finance ministers (Ecofin) from the EU Member States, Mihály Varga stated that the European Commission must strive to ensure that the €50 billion in funds allocated to support Ukraine's reconstruction and reforms are used in a disciplined manner, that the money is received and that it is used only for the purposes for which the EU has provided it.

There can be no double standards in relation to this issue; these funds must be monitored and controlled. The funds allocated to Ukraine must be managed with the same discipline as all other EU funds –  he said. Furthermore, the minister mentioned that Member States welcomed the fact that the European Investment Bank (EIB) had included the financing of security and defence projects among its priorities. In relation to this, he stressed that Hungary favours peaceful solutions, but notes that the situation is currently moving towards escalation rather than peace.

He stressed that Hungary needs to be able to develop its defence industry. While he also stated that he wants to increase the existing gross expenditure of two percent of GDP. "Hungary's position is that the participation of the European Investment Bank should not become a tool for the supply of arms to Ukraine, but should contribute to strengthening Europe's defence capabilities," the Finance Minister said, adding that efforts should be made to ensure that the financial support provided serves a good purpose. Hungary still does not support supplying arms, he said. Mihály Varga declared that Europe's security must be strengthened. In this context, he recalled that Hungary has been protecting the Schengen borders on its own for years, without external funding, which has so far amounted to an expenditure of approximately HUF 700 billion. Hungary is waiting for EU funding that will ensure the reinforcement and further protection of the border. In relation to the EU migration and asylum package adopted by the European Parliament the previous day, he said the pact could be used for blackmail, "obviously that is its aim".

The migration pact is unacceptable for Hungary, he continued. "Even under pressure from the European Parliament, we will not accept that others should decide with whom we can live,”. According to Mihály Varga, it is unacceptable that the package also included a 20,000 euro penalty for non-compliance. The purpose of this is to be able to blackmail member states financially, he said. All possible means must be used to ensure that the pact is reviewed and rejected, the Finance Minister added in his statement.

Source: MTI - Hungarian News Agency