Finance Minister: Hungary EU presidency to focus on competiveness, demographic challenges

Hungary’s upcoming European Union presidency will aim to make progress in key areas “at times filled with challenge”, Finance Minister Mihaly Varga said after talks with Elisabeth Svantesson, his Swedish counterpart in Brussels.

“We will focus on issues around the EU’s competitiveness, demographic challenges, the transition to a green economy, and a sustainable schedule of debt servicing,” the minister said.

“Europe’s competitiveness will be crucial; it is important to restart economic growth in the EU and reduce the gap with global competitors,” Varga said.

He said the EU’s competitiveness was waning, so the Hungarian presidency would put an emphasis on reversing that trend, adding that EU “should take a greater responsibility for Europe’s security, increase defence spending and reinforce border controls.”

The EU’s contribution to border protection costs should also be beefed up, Varga said, adding that he had recently invited Johannes Hahn, the EU’s commissioner for budget and administration, to discuss the matter at Hungary’s southern border.

Concerning demographic trends, Varga said the community should support families rather than promoting immigration, adding that Hungary’s family support-GDP ratio was the highest in the EU.

The finance ministry’s staff has been prepared to work on the EU’s 2025 budget, Varga said.


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