Hungarian development plan addresses environmental issues

Hungarian development plan addresses environmental issues

The Hungarian National Development Agency has sent a series of major environmental projects to the European Commission for approval under new EU Structural Fund regulations.

In 2007, the EU called for all Member States to establish National Strategic Reference Frameworks (NSRFs) to act as guidelines for the spending of all allocated EU Structural Funds between 2007 and 2013. These frameworks set out clear strategies indicating how Member States will attribute funds to operational programmes.

The EU allocated €25.3 billion to the Hungarian NSRF for 2007 to 2013. Hungary is now proposing a series of significant environmental protection projects that require approval by the European Commission. These projects, together with eight transport initiatives, were submitted in January 2009. The National Development Agency announced five new calls for environmentally friendly applications on 10 March 2009, with a further two expected.

To meet the Structural Fund requirements, the Hungarian government drafted its New National Development Plan (NHDP). As it believes the NHDP is not conceivable without strengthening environmental protection, the Environment and Energy Operational Programme (EEOP) addresses this key area.

One of 15 operational programmes in the new Hungarian national development plan, the EEOP promotes sustainable development and environmental protection in Hungary by:

  • Strengthening environment protection;
  • Developing the environmental infrastructure to create regional cohesion;
  • Ensuring a more efficient and economical use of natural resources; and
  • Providing deprived areas with an opportunity to take a more intensive share in their economic development.

Eight projects have been submitted for EU approval, needed for all major programmes. Collectively, they could improve the quality of life in more than 500 communities, with a total population of 1.4 million.

The projects concern:

  • Floodwater protection
    – with floodwater reservoirs proposed for Hany-Tiszasuly, Tiszaroff and Nagykunsag to protect 570 000 people and 660 000 ha of land from flooding; the Hany-Tiszasuly and the Nagykunsag projects alone will require €99 million of EU funding.

  • Waste management
    – with three projects having a total cost of over €100 million. The Mecsek-Dràva project will process 200 000 tonnes of waste a year, and serve 426 000 residents. Similar projects are proposed for Györ and the Central Danube Region; and

  • Wastewater treatment
    – with programmes proposed in Makó, Békéscsaba and Nyíregyhàza. At a cost of over €107 million, they will increase households connected to sewage networks; decrease water pollution and reduce costs for residents.

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