Hungary asks EU for recovery loan as catastrophic refugee crisis grows

Hungary is doing its utmost to preserve peace and security in Europe, Orbán wrote

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Mandiner
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. (Facebook)

With the war in Ukraine representing an unprecedented challenge, Hungary urgently needs to draw credit from the Recovery and Resilience Facility, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán wrote in a letter to Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission.

The security risks, the burden of the humanitarian crisis, the economic consequences of the conflict, and the negative effects of EU sanctions are largely borne by the countries protecting the European Union’s eastern borders, the prime minister said in the letter.

“In addition to the development needs set out in its Recovery and Resilience Building Plan and regardless of its approval process, Hungary requests the immediate provision of the credit facility provided under the Recovery and Resilience Building Facility for defense, border management, humanitarian and other acute crisis management tasks. In the current context, these are key areas for development to strengthen our resilience. The European Union can provide real and meaningful assistance if it provides immediate and flexible resources for these purposes,” Orbán wrote in the letter addressed to the President of the European Commission, the President of the European Council, its members and the President of the European Parliament.

The EU has turned the screws on Hungary due to ideological differences, and refuses to release Covid-19 recovery funds to the country in the run-up to the April 3 election, which amounts to election interference. Hungary’s conservative position on LGBT issues and mass migration means that it is unlikely the EU will provide the needed aid, even as Hungary takes in hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian refugees.

“Hungary is prepared and operating well in the crisis. We have received more than 450,000 people who have fled the war and the war so far. We provide humanitarian assistance to those who come to us and those in need in Transcarpathia. We have strengthened the protection of our eastern borders. We are doing all this in the name of humanity, for the sake of peace and security throughout the European Union,” he wrote.

Although Hungary has taken in an unprecedented amount of people, there are few signs the flow of people will end anytime soon.

“In crisis situations, the preservation of the unity of the European Union and the shared responsibility of the member states are particularly important. To this end, Hungary is only asking for it to be able to access the EU funds allocated to it as soon as possible and effectively, and to use them flexibly for the purposes best suited to dealing with the crisis,” he wrote.

Orbán requested that the European Commission approve the recovery and resilience plan and the partnership agreements and operational programs of the member states protecting the eastern borders of the European Union. It also called on the commission to allow rapid, targeted and flexible use of EU budget resources by removing pre-financing, co-financing and transferability limits.

The prime minister recalled that 30 percent of the funds available under the Rehabilitation and Resilience Facility until the end of 2026 must be redistributed by June 30, 2022, in the light of current economic growth indicators. Redistribution would result in a loss of resources for all member states protecting the eastern borders of the European Union, which could amount to up to 16 percent of available funding for some member states.

“This is unacceptable,” underlined Orbán, who called for a review of the redistribution system and to ensure that those member states that bear the brunt of the war crisis and make a significant contribution to economic growth in the European Union do not lose EU funds.

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