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Gov’t to establish new system for EU funding

Hungary's government will establish a new system for paying out European Union funding from 2013-14, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said on Thursday.

Orbán said the new system would be on a human scale and replace the extremely complicated "kafkaesque" one the government inherited from its predecessors. Until the new system is established, the old one must be adjusted: all unnecessary committees must be wound up and the order of pre-payment must be standardized to give all applications the chance to get 30% of the cost of developments up front, even though this creates a higher risk of misappropriation, he said.
He also called for the establishment of a HUF 50 billion co-financing fund. Orbán was speaking at an event organized by the National Development Agency at which he outlined the achievements of the New Széchenyi Plan, a development funding framework.
National Development Agency chairman Zoltán Petykó said at the event that some HUF 8,209 billion in funding was available in Hungary during the 2007-2013 EU budget period. As the 15% co-financing amount is in forints, exchange rate changes could add to or take away from the amount about HUF 300 billion, he added. At present, HUF 1,700 billion in funding is available in 130 areas as part of the New Széchenyi Plan, he said.
New tenders for about HUF 700 billion in funding are expected to be called this year, but tenders for an additional HUF 300 billion could materialize in the interest of drawing down the entire amount available, he added.
Decisions have already been made on funding of HUF 6,283 billion, and HUF 2,720 billion of this amount has been paid out, Petykó said. He said European Union funding could cover about half of the HUF 400 billion cost of Budapest's fourth metro line.