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2006 to be slow year for project funding

2006 will be a slower year for applications for European Union funding, and the central budget will be tied down with co-financing responsibilities, Finance Minister János Veres told business daily Világgazdaság on Monday. Veres said the central budget will be heavily charged with obligations in EU co-financing projects next year, and this will leave little room for funding additional projects nationally. Invitations for applying for funding to the EU programs are becoming fewer as well, and this may leave some aspirants disillusioned in 2006, Veres said. Senior official at the National Development Office Gábor Nagy said 80% of the Ft 678 billion funding available from EU structural funds for 2004-2006 had already been used, adding that this could be seen as a positive sign of progress. In the last phase of the First National Development Plan, some Ft 100 billion will be distributed to successful projects next year, before projects can be prepared for the second cycle of the National Development Plan, for 2007-2013, Nagy said.