Country report Hungary - Work Package 1 Ex post evaluation of Cohesion Policy programmes 2007-2013, focusing on the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Cohesion Fund (CF)
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After continuous growth between 2000-2006, fuelled largely by domestic expansion, Hungary ran into financial problems, forcing the adoption of fiscal consolidation measures even before the global recession struck in 2008-2009. GDP declined sharply between 2007 and 2009 before recovering a little in the subsequent two years. Between 2011 and 2013, however, there was virtual stagnation and it was until 2014 that growth returned. The result of the recession in 2007-2009 was a decline in the employment rate and a rise in unemployment to 10% of the labour force. Unemployment rose further to 11% in 2011 and although the employment rate increased between 2011 and 2013, despite the lack of growth, it reduced unemployment only a little because of the increase in labour force participation. Growth in the subsequent two years was accompanied by a significant increase in the employment rate and unemployment falling by 7%.
Over the 2007-2013 period, significant disparities persisted between regions, in particular between Central Hungary, which includes the capital Budapest, and the other, less developed regions, in the country.
In total, support from the ERDF and the Cohesion Fund amounted to EUR 21 billion over the period, equivalent to 57% of government capital expenditure with funding averaging around EUR 304 per head per year. Support went to a large extent to investment in Transport and Environmental infrastructure, which together accounted for around 55% of total funding.
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