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Hungarian counties lose control over EU funds on administrative error

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Hungary's newly established county system will lose out on disposition over European Union funding for regional development, business daily Napi Gazdaság reported on Tuesday.

The paper said that the Hungarian government had missed the deadline at the start of the year when it should have notified Brussels of changes in the country's administrative system, namely that in future it will be seeking to receive funding on the basis of a network of counties instead of regions.

Hungary's new local government had assigned the task of regional development to counties, but they will not be able to dispose over EU funds, only national funding, the paper said. Channeling EU development funding will continue to stay in the scope of Regional Development Councils, it added.

András Tállai, state secretary at the Interior Ministry, admitted the fault, but said that keeping decisions on EU funds at a regional level will not cause any hitches in their distribution. He insisted that in 2012-2013 Regional Development Councils will coordinate EU funds and in 2014, after local elections, changes to the county system are expected to be fully put into place.

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