Our talks with Johannes Hahn, the European Commission's Budget Commissioner, were held in a good atmosphere, which gives rise to the hope that we may be able to achieve a breakthrough in the coming period and settle the outstanding issues in the Erasmus case by the end of autumn, said Tibor Navracsics, Minister of Regional Development, in a statement issued in Brussels together with János Bóka, Minister responsible for EU Affairs.
He said they had agreed with the commissioner that the negotiations should be speeded up and the remaining technical problems resolved in order to reach an agreement by the end of November and to ensure the smooth participation of Hungarian students in Erasmus scholarships.
He added that Wednesday's negotiations showed that the European Commission is more flexible than before, even in areas where the positions of the Commission and the Hungarian government had previously differed. He said that these issues do not fundamentally concern the membership of university boards of trustees.
"The interpretation, where we were very far apart, was whether the legal instrument designed to protect EU funds could be used in a case where EU funds were not actually being used. In other words, should we introduce a general regulation at the request of the European Commission also in cases where EU funds are nowhere near and are not intended to be used, or should we create a system, in our view, taking into account the purpose of the original legal instrument, which would allow us to regulate the composition, perspicuity or transparency of legal entities that actually intend to use EU funds", said Tibor Navracsics.
János Bóka stressed that Wednesday's talks with the European Commission confirmed the Hungarian government's readiness to continue negotiations in a constructive and loyal spirit of cooperation, both at technical and political level. It was suggested that in further discussions, the political and technical levels should be properly delimited in order to make progress even faster.
On the so-called super-milestones to be met to access EU funds, he said the Hungarian government had met them adequately.
"The Commission itself will carry out a technical and political assessment and take a position on this. We can convincingly demonstrate that the Hungarian government has delivered what it committed to on time," added János Bóka.
(Source: Hungarian News Agency)