EC clears five Hungarian programs for funding in 2014-2020
The European Commission (EC) on Friday approved five of Hungary's operative programs for European Union funding in 2014-2020, the EC announced. The EC approved funding for developments totalling €8.8 bln economic development and innovation program, €3.97 bln for the regional development program, €464 in funding for the €927 mln program supporting the competitiveness of Central Hungary and a combined €7.7 bln in transport development, environmental and energy efficiency operative programs.
The EU provides 85% of development costs except for the program for the more developed Central Hungary region where it funds 50%. Central Hungary is the only region in Hungary where per capita GDP exceeds the EU average. Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Cretu said the economic development program would contribute to Hungary's economic growth, improve competitiveness and create the opportunity for job creation.
The EC estimates the economic development and innovation program could put 300,000 out-of-work people back in jobs and improve the positions of a further 450,000 through training. The funding is to give more than 20,000 companies access to financial consultants or support the use of infocommunications solutions and electronic services. It is intended to cut spending on energy by 1,400 companies and allow the construction of capacity to generate 250MW of renewable energy.
The funding is also expected to create 3,000 jobs in research and bring broadband internet to another 1 million homes. The environment and energy efficiency program is meant to improve the quality of Hungarians' lives by creating flood defense for some 1 million people, improving the water supply for 340,000 people and stepping up sewage services for another 800,000 people. The funding is also earmarked to help reduce Hungary's carbon dioxide emissions by more than 1.5 million tons.
The transport program is designed to allow the construction of 240 km of motorway, reaching Hungary's borders, and the renovation of 280 km of railway, as well as improving the safety of shipping on the Danube. A further 132 km of metro, tram or urban rail lines could be built with the funding. The regional program will improve the quality of life in disadvantaged regions of Hungary, support tourism investments, better healthcare services and create more places in creches. The Central Hungary program will reduce social and economic disparity, boost research capacity and raise energy efficiency.
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