PM Orban writes to Ursula von der Leyen
In a letter, PM Viktor Orban informed European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen of the Hungarian government's decision to call on the body to provide access to the allocated loan facility under the Recovery and Resilience Facility, Mr Orban's press chief told Hungary's state news agency (MTI) on Tuesday.
War is raging on the borders of Hungary. In recent weeks alone, Hungary saw the arrival of nearly half a million Ukrainian refugees and the government is expecting this number to multiply over the next period, PM Orban’s press chief said, adding that the sanctions and the economic repercussions of the war would place a heavy burden on the Hungarian economy. These extraordinary circumstances call for extraordinary measures, which is why the Hungarian government has decided to ask the European Commission to draw on the credit facility provided under the Recovery and Resilience Facility.
In his letter to the European Commission President, which was also relayed to Hungary’s state news agency, PM Orban states that
the war in Ukraine poses unprecedented challenges for EU members states. The security risks, the burden of the humanitarian crisis, the economic consequences of the conflict and the negative effects of EU sanctions are to a large extent borne by the countries protecting the European Union’s eastern borders, he wrote.
In Mr Orban’s view, these “extraordinary circumstances call for extraordinary measures. Hungary is prepared and standing its ground in the crisis. So far, we have received over 450,000 people who have fled before, and from the war. We provide humanitarian assistance to those who come to us and those in need in Transcarpathia. We have strengthened the protection of our eastern borders. We are doing all this in the name of humanity and for the peace and security of the EU as a whole.”
Hungary’s premier pointed out that in crisis situations preserving the unity of the EU and the shared responsibility of connecting the member states is especially important. To this end, Hungary only asks for immediate and effective access
to EU funds allocated to it, and to be able to use them in a flexible way for purposes best suited to dealing with the crisis, he wrote.
PM Orban asked the Commission to approve, as a matter of urgency, the Recovery and Resilience Plans, Partnership agreements and operational programmes of the member states protecting the eastern borders of the European Union. He asked the Commission to allow rapid, targeted and flexible use of EU budgetary resources by removing pre-financing, co-financing and transferability limits.
He recalled in his letter that 30 per cent of the financial support available under the Recovery and Resilience Facility until the end of 2026 shall be reallocated by 30 June 2022, in the light of the current economic growth indicators. The reallocation would entail a loss of resources for all member states protecting the EU’s eastern borders, which could amount up to 16 per cent of the available grants for some member states.
This is unacceptable, Viktor Orban underlined. He called for a review of the reallocation system and urged the EC to ensure that member states who bear the brunt of the war crisis and at the same time contribute significantly to the EU’s economic growth do not lose EU resources.
In addition to the development needs outlined in tits Recovery and Resilience Plan, and independently of its approval process, Hungary requests the immediate provision of the allocated loan facility under the Recovery and Resilience Facility
for defence, border control as well as humanitarian and other acute crisis management tasks.
In the current circumstances, these are the most important areas for improvement in terms of strengthening our resilience. The European Union can only provide real and substantial help if it offers immediate and flexible funding for these purposes,” Hungarian PM Orban wrote in his letter addressed to the EC President and relayed to both the President and the members of the European Council, as well as to the European Parliament’s president.