Lázár takes over as Hungary’s chief negotiator on EU funds

Initiatives

János Lázár, minister of Prime Minister’s Office, will take over as Hungary’s chief negotiator of EU fund planning, replacing current Economic Minister Mihály Varga, the government announced today.

This new responsibility adds to those that Lázár has already taken in recent weeks, and the government seems willing to make him the most powerful member of the Prime Minister’s cabinet.

Budapest Mayor István Tarlós and Lázár have reportedly clashed recently over the use of EU funds, and the mayor was said to have complained that Lázár was defunding essential work for the M3 Metro line in Budapest. Tarlós has declined to discuss any disagreements with Lázár, but said late last week that the M3 would receive sufficient funding.

Lázár’s ability to handle disbursement of funds also came under fire recently, after he interfered with the Norway’s funding scheme for Hungary. Norway funding has not been continued yet.

Hungary has submitted 8 Operative Programs to Brussels and if the EU decides to give a green light on the programs, Lázár will lead the negotiations and the government will be able to announce new tenders in the Széchenyi 2020 program by mid-October. 

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