Hungary calls down record amount of EU funds in final months of 2016

December 25, 2016

Hungary has called down a record 1.415 trillion forints (USD 4.9 billion) worth of European Union structural funds for the 2014-2020 budgetary period to date, reports, and “there is a good chance that this will significantly increase in the final weeks of the year.”

According to Portfolio, there is no precedent for so large an amount being paid out, neither during the 2007-2013 funding period nor earlier. “This is not by chance since on the one hand the official goal of calling down 2.048 trillion (USD 7.1 billion) adopted at the beginning of the year still exists (of which 1.8 trillion relates to 2014-2020), and on the other hand the payment is tied to the payment of bonuses to workers in the area of state administrative developmental policy,” reports Portfolio.

The success of the fourth quarter “also depends on the size of the bonus”, Portfolio says.  “There are different payments prescribed for different operative programs for the October-December period, as well as the size of the corresponding bonus.  Many months’ premiums are at stake.”

The government previously set out to call down 1.8 trillion forints (USD 6.2 billion) of the 2014-2020 cycle through the end of the year, but is now talking about HUF 1.5-1.7 trillion.  “Of course, it is another question entirely how much of this actually went to the economy and how much is an advance that cannot be used until the results of the related public procurement procedure,” reports Portfolio.