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In Budapest, French President Macron outlines agenda, clarifies EU recovery fund hold-up

| 2021-12-14 < 1 min read

In Budapest, French President Macron outlines agenda, clarifies EU recovery fund hold-up

Reading Time: < 1 minute

Hungary is not likely to gain access to EU pandemic recovery funds before elections take place next spring, said French President Emmanuel Macron, who paid a visit to Budapest on Monday. Macron said the EU would not send any stimulus fund payments to Hungary because the country is not showing that it intends to change course on rule of law or discrimination issues before April 2022, when the country is set to hold parliamentary elections.

Meeting with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, the French President delved into issues like common European defense and nuclear power, on which the two agree on, but also mentioned controversial matters like LGBT rights. Macron also met with leaders of Hungary’s opposition parties.

At press conference following a meeting of the Visegrad Group, also attended by leaders from Poland, Romania and Slovakia, Prime Minister Orban said EU coronavirus recovery fund were being withheld from his country because of its controversial anti-LGBTQ+ law. President Macron corrected Orban, explaining that corruption and public procurement were at the heart of the hold-up.

Macron’s stop in the Hungarian capital took place as France is poised to head the European Council on 1 January. While in Budapest, he also outlined some of the points on Paris’s agenda during its 6-month stint in the rotating presidency, like action on climate and a migration pact.

Source: France24, Politico

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