Published: November 27 2023
Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó of Hungary expressed concerns over the competitiveness of the European Union (EU), blaming ill-advised decisions in Brussels for Europe's declining global ranking. He highlighted the high costs of natural gas and electricity in Europe compared to other regions, as well as the deteriorating East-West cooperation.
Europe's Competitiveness Ranking
Europe has fallen to third place in terms of its contribution to the global economy, with the worst figures in recent decades. Foreign Minister Szijjártó cited the high costs of natural gas and electricity in Europe, which are four times and three times more expensive than in North America and China, respectively.
Deteriorating East-West Cooperation
Foreign Minister Szijjártó expressed concerns about the diminishing ties of East-West cooperation, which have been crucial for European growth. He criticized the ongoing debates and sanctions imposed by the EU without a comprehensive assessment of their impacts.
Hungary's Contribution to Europe's Competitiveness
The Hungarian government is actively working to improve Europe's competitiveness and has successfully attracted investment projects that would have otherwise gone to third countries. Foreign Minister Szijjártó emphasized the importance of considering East-West cooperation as a great opportunity rather than a peril.
EU Funding for Hungary's Development Projects
Hungary has received approval from the European Commission for its amendment to the Recovery and Resilience Instrument. This grants Hungary access to approximately EUR 1 billion in EU funding for the development of the RePowerEU chapter, aimed at further advancing the country's development initiatives.
Questions & Answers
What are the concerns expressed by Hungary's Foreign Minister about the EU's competitiveness? Hungary's Foreign Minister, Péter Szijjártó, expressed concerns about ill-advised decisions in Brussels leading to a decline in Europe's competitiveness. He mentioned that Europe has been relegated to third place in terms of its contribution to the global economy and highlighted the high costs of natural gas in Europe compared to North America and electricity compared to China. He also mentioned the severing of ties of East-West cooperation, which have historically been a basis for European growth.
What does Hungary's government seek in terms of Europe's competitiveness? Hungary's government seeks an improvement in Europe's competitiveness and focuses on contributing to this improvement. They have won a number of investment projects this year that would have otherwise gone to third countries. Hungary believes that East-West cooperation should be seen as a great opportunity rather than a peril.
What has the European Commission approved for Hungary in terms of funding? The European Commission has approved Hungary's amendment to the Recovery and Resilience Instrument, which allows Hungary to access around EUR 1 billion in EU funding. This funding is intended for the development of the RePowerEU chapter.
What was Hungary's jobless rate in October? Hungary's jobless rate stood at 4.1 percent in October. This is an increase from 3.9 percent in September and 3.7 percent compared to twelve months earlier.