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EC recommends Hungary limits fiscal expenditure growth

The European Commission has recommended that Hungary take steps to limit fiscal expenditure growth, promote integration and reinforce the country’s anti-corruption framework, news site vg.hu reported, citing a country-specific recommendation published on the ECʼs website.

In tailored advice issued annually to individual member states, aimed at boosting jobs, growth and investment while maintaining sound public finances, the EC notes that the Council has adopted a recommendation confirming the need for Hungary to take measures to ensure that net primary government expenditures do not grow more than 3.3% in 2019. The EC recommends that Hungary take steps to ensure net primary government expenditures rise no more than 4.7% in 2020.

The EC also recommends that Hungary should continue the labor market integration of vulnerable groups and improve the adequacy of social assistance and unemployment benefits. It also urges increased participation in mainstream education of disadvantaged groups, in particular the Roma (Gypsy) minority. The EC says Hungary should focus its investment-related policy on research and innovation, low carbon energy and transport, waste infrastructure, and energy and resource efficiency.

The EC notes that competition in public procurement could be improved. It says efforts to fight corruption should include improving prosecutorial efforts and access to public information, as well as strengthening judicial independence.

The EC also urges Hungary to continue simplifying its tax system, while strengthening it against the risk of aggressive tax planning, and to improve competition and regulatory predictability in the services sector, vg.hu reported.