30 Nov

László György Minister of State for Economic Strategy and Regulation emphasised during the Competitiveness Council on 29 November 2018, that the Regulation on supplementary protection certificates for medicinal products had served the interests of the pharmaceutical industry well at its time of adoption, 26 years ago. However, due to the significant rise in the volume of generic manufacturing, the market reality changed and the supplementary protection now limits the market opportunities of the Hungarian and European generic pharmaceutical industry. In order to enhance the competitiveness of European generic manufacturers and promote employment, it is indispensable to introduce a manufacturing waiver, which eliminates the negative discrimination of Hungarian and European generic pharmaceutical producers against their non-EU competitors. This is the guarantee for Hungarian patients to gain access to more affordable, high-quality generic medicines.

The permanent competitiveness “check-up” agenda item focused on the future of the Single Market. László György acknowledged that the Single Market is without question one of Europe’s greatest achievements, the most important cornerstone of the Union. It should however be examined how the Single Market contributes to the strengthening of the EU’s global competitiveness. Compared to its competitors the EU has the strictest legal framework considering environmental policy, consumer protection and food safety, which leads to imbalances in the global market. EU leaders must not only protect the European economy, producers and consumers but must strengthen the EU's own internal economic and social cohesion. For this purpose, a holistic approach – involving all common union policy, like transport, social policy etc. – is needed, which point clearly into the direction of growth, instead of the restriction of opportunities.

During the industrial policy debate Minister of State György underlined Hungary’s support for the elaboration of a new EU industrial policy strategy. He added: Hungary consistently calls for the prioritisation of the European economy, and more specifically, of the industrial competitiveness in the process of elaboration of the new MFF. At the same time, the Hungarian government has been emphasising the geographical balance in the allocation of funds.

The support of technological breakthrough projects and pilot initiatives (such as artificial intelligence and high performance computing), the development of human resources are priorities for Hungary. In the same line, Europe has to take advantage of the opportunities offered by digitalisation, as it encourages innovation and contributes to the development of new products and services. In the period 2014-2020 the Government supports the digitalization of Hungarian enterprises with more than EUR 310 million.

The Council adopted its position on a vehicle safety proposal that would provide a wide range of advanced safety features as standard equipment for new vehicle categories in order to reduce the number of serious and fatal road accidents. The focus of the proposal is in particular the protection of vulnerable road users such as elderly, children and cyclists. Lászlo György emphasized that the proposal from the Hungarian point of view is a welcome addition to opening the way for the development of automated and connected vehicles. These vehicles can make a significant contribution to reducing the number of road accidents. The first phase of the Zalaegerszeg vehicle test track under construction can already be used by vehicle developers this year, with which Hungary is ahead of its rivals in the region.