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Gov’t Expecting Agreement with European Commission on Recovery Plan by August

The government is hoping to reach an agreement with the European Commission by the end of August, said János Bóka, the State Secretary for European Union issues in the Prime Minister’s Cabinet Office, to Reuters on Tuesday.

The European Commission has still not given the nod to Hungary’s recovery plan, preventing €5.8 billion (US $5.9 billion) from being allocated to the government from the EU recovery fund.

Hungary is the only country in the 27-member bloc that has not had its recovery plan accepted by the Commission. The Brussels-based body expects the Hungarian government to take more concrete steps regarding media diversity, judicial independence, and corruption.

Bóka stated that negotiations with the Commission had entered a new phase, and that Hungary aimed to wrap up all outstanding issues by the end of August. If these talks are successful, they expect to be able to reach agreement on the details of the funds.

The Hungarian government has also agreed to reduce the proportion of single-bidder public procurement tenders to under 15%. Bóka claimed that this wouldn’t be easy, as there are certain areas where only one serious bidder exists, so they will need to define those areas where reducing to 15% is truly feasible.

He also said that there weren’t any areas where they wouldn’t be able to come to an agreement, and he was not able to name any areas of dispute.

The European Commission did not comment on the statement. [Magyar Narancs]

Posted in European Union

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