Hungary could reassess its membership of the European Union by the end of the decade.
The country’s finance minister Mihály Varga warned Hungary may have to rethink its position once it becomes a net contributor to the EU’s budget, reigniting the debate ahead of the country’s elections next year. Mr Varga said:
“When we calculate that we will already be net contributors to the EU, the issue could get a new perspective, especially if the attacks in Brussels are continuous because of the choice of our values.”
Hungary joined the EU in 2004 and has always taken more out of the budget than it has paid in. However, Hungary is expected to become a net contributor by 2030, meaning it will pay in rather than taking out.
Mr Varga did say that if a hypothetical vote were to take place this year for Hungary to join the EU now, he would “be among those who voted yes.”
However, Hungary is locked in a battle with Brussels and other EU member states over access to its slice of the £640billion pot of cash being created for the economic recovery from the pandemic.
The European Commission has delayed approving the start of pay-outs of the £6.15billion Budapest is expecting.
Brussels has refused to explain why, but it’s understood to be related to the mechanism which was written into the agreements for the 2021-2027 budget which ties cash to “respecting fundamental rights and fighting corruption.” Hungary’s stance on these issues has repeatedly been in question.
Hungary’s place in the EU was directly questioned in June when the Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte, said the country had “no business being in the European Union any more”.