Agreement has been reached on several matters concerning funding for Budapest development projects at a session of the Municipal Development Council, Balázs Fürjes, state secretary for developments in the capital and its agglomeration, said after the session.
Fürjes said in a video posted on Facebook that it had been agreed that the government would provide to local municipalities 10 billion forints (EUR 273m) annually over five years under the arrangements of a scheme dubbed Healthy Budapest. The money can be used for revamping and building doctors’ surgeries and outpatient facilities and the purchase of therapeutical and diagnostics equipment, he added. It has also been agreed that the government would provide 75 billion forints for the revamp and development of Danube embankments to make them more pedestrian and cycle friendly, he said. An interconnected tram network will be further developed in Buda, linking Szent Gellért Square with Budafoki Road through the university campus and Kopaszi dyke areas, he added. Fürjes said Budapest was eligible for 80 billion forints European Union development funding in the 2021-2027 budget period but the government would like to help the city have access to 3,000 billion forints. “We will be able to agree on this,” he added, noting that target areas for EU-funded developments would include health care, transport, green spaces and educational infrastructure.
Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony said on Facebook after the session that “intensive talks” with the government would start next week concerning the use of EU resources. He said he had consulted with representatives of other EU capitals and European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms Elisa Ferreira earlier on Thursday. She confirmed that governments will be obliged to hold partnership consultations with affected local municipalities on developments, he said. “Finally we have managed to convince the government to start real consultation about EU resources,” he said, adding that this was a good development, even if he expected difficult talks because “the government basically likes to spend such resources for its own purposes”.
He welcomed the agreement on the annual 10 billion forints to be received from the government for the development of outpatient services and the agreement on developing the Danube lower embankment on the Pest side, which he said will enable the implementation of the city leadership’s green embankment plan.