Extraordinary circumstances require extraordinary measures
22. 03. 2022.

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán informed President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen in a letter about the Hungarian government’s decision that Hungary requests the immediate provision of the allocated loan facility under the Recovery and Resilience Facility as well, Bertalan Havasi, the head of the Press Office of the Prime Minister informed the Hungarian news agency MTI on Tuesday, making the full text of the letter available at the same time.

The press chief recalled that there is a war being waged at Hungary’s borders; in the past few weeks, almost half a million Ukrainian refugees have arrived in Hungary, and during the period ahead the government is expecting this number to multiply. He added that the economic impacts and sanctions of the war are imposing a heavy burden upon the Hungarian economy. Extraordinary circumstances require extraordinary measures, and so the Hungarian government decided to request the European Commission to provide the allocated loan facility under the Recovery and Resilience Fund as well.

In the letter to the President of the European Commission sent to MTI, Mr Orbán wrote the war in Ukraine poses an unprecedented challenge to the Member states of the European Union. The security risks, the burden of the humanitarian crisis, the economic consequences of the conflict and the negative effects of the EU sanctions are to a large extent borne by the countries protecting the European Union’s eastern borders, he wrote.

According to Mr Orbán, “extraordinary circumstances require extraordinary measures. Hungary is prepared and stands its ground in this crisis. We have received more than 450,000 people so far who have fled before the war 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 European Union as a whole.

The Hungarian Prime Minister drew attention to the fact that in crisis situations, the preservation of the unity of the European Union and the shared responsibility connecting the Member States are particularly important. To this end, Hungary only asks for immediate and effective access to the EU funds allocated to it, and to be able to use them in a flexible way for the purposes best suited to dealing with the crisis, he wrote.

Mr Orbán asked the European Commission to approve, as a matter of urgency, the Recovery and Resilience Plans, the Partnership Agreements and operation programmes of the Member States protecting the eastern borders of the European Union. He further asked the Commission to allow rapid, targeted and flexible use of EU budgetary resources by removing pre-financing, co-financing and transferability limits.

In his letter, the Prime Minister recalled that 30 per cent of the financial support available under the Recovery and Resilience Facility until the end of 2026 will be reallocated by 30 June 2022 in the light of current economic growth indicators. The reallocation would entail a loss of resources for all Member States protecting the eastern borders of the European Union which could amount to up to 16 per cent of the available grants for some Member States.

This is unacceptable, Mr Orbán underlined, asking for a review of the reallocation system and to ensure that those Member States that are bearing the brunt of the war crisis and at the same time making a significant contribution to the economic growth of the European Union do not lose EU resources.

“In addition to its development needs outlined in its 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,” Mr Orbán wrote in his letter addressed to the President of the European Commission, and also forwarded to the President and members of the European Council and the President of the European Parliament.

You can read the letter by clicking here.