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Visit by Commissioner Hahn

On May 19-20, Commissioner Hahn travels to Gödöllő, 30 km outside of Budapest, for a meeting with the European ministers overseeing cohesion policy. The discussions will focus on post-2013 politics.

What are the region’s priorities?

Central Hungary encompasses the capital, Budapest, and the county of Pest. With three million residents, nearly two-thirds of whom live in Budapest, the region is Hungary’s most heavily populated area.

By European standards, the region’s overall rate of innovation lags behind its strong economic performance – and one goal is to improve this situation. GDP per capita in this region exceeds the Community average by 7%.

Owing to its geographic location, Central Hungary plays an important role in the transport sector, not only nationally, but for the whole of Europe. Further goals for the region are greater development of its cultural economy and its appeal as a tourist destination.

How has EU regional policy contributed?

The regional programme represents a €1.47 billion investment by the European Development Fund (ERDF), with European Union support from 2007 to 2013. The programme’s objectives include:

  • Supporting R&D and innovation (funding research centres, facilitating access to capital by small and medium enterprises, etc.);
  • Integrating regional roads into international road networks;
  • Increasing the competitiveness of regional tourism;
  • Raising standards in education and health;
  • Enhancing local living conditions (caring for the environment, beautifying residential areas, etc.).

To date, approximately 30% of programme funds have been disbursed to project initiators.

Sample Projects

On May 24th, European experts from the Structural Fund Coordinating Committee (COCOF), will conduct on-site visits of two Budapest projects which are funded by regional policy:

  • The Magdolna neighbourhood programme exemplifies integrated urban development as is advocated at the European level. The programme has contributed to new green spaces (with resident participation in the planting), the revitalization of areas for small and medium enterprises, the initiation of a crime prevention programme and an education programme, and the establishment of a community centre.
  • The Semmelweis Bridge project has brought together young researchers, international experts and industrialists to form a cardiovascular research group. Its goal is to identify the factors that influence cardiac insufficiency and discover new therapies for cardiovascular disease in certain patients, athletes in particular.

The renovation of Margaret Bridge in Budapest, currently under way, is also slated for European funding (large-scale project).

Further Information