In the European Union we need a transparent mechanism for the sharing of burdens and resources in proportion to each Member State’s state of advancement, the joint declaration issued by the finance ministers of the countries of the Visegrád Cooperation (V4) after a meeting held in Warsaw reads.

At a press conference held after the meeting, Finance Minister Mihály Varga said at the meeting also attended by his Polish, Czech and Slovak counterparts, they spoke about the management of the economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, the taxation of the digital economy, and the fight against tax evasion and money laundering.

The cooperation of the Visegrád countries is now a major factor in European politics which is partly owing to the fact that in recent years the region has become the European economy’s engine. Common action has made the international representation of the region’s interests more effective, and it is now time to strengthen financial and economic cooperation, Mr Varga stated after the meeting.

Regarding the possible directions of cooperation, he said common action against tax fraud could be best supported by cooperation in the field of tax administration. At the same time, it is also well worth enhancing the European Union’s tax law arrangements, including in the area of the taxation of digital companies. Additionally, the countries of the region should also cooperate in the interest of achieving a fair climate changeover and raising the EU budget’s new own resources. In this regard, the Hungarian Finance Minister stressed that – according to the Hungarian position – the new EU own resources will have to meet multiple conditions, including that they cannot impose further burdens on national budgets and must respect Member States’ fiscal sovereignty.

The finance ministers agreed that with joint action it is also necessary to improve the efficiency of the EU’s legal options available in the fight against money laundering. They further spoke about the election of the new president of the EBRD this autumn; this time, they have a strong V4 candidate for the post in the person of the Polish finance minister, Mr Varga said.

Poland took over the V4 rotating presidency on 1 July. Priorities of the period ahead include the elimination of the harmful effects of the economic crisis brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, the joint discussion of EU initiatives and decisions, and the effective representation of the region’s interests. In 2021, Hungary will take over the presidency from Poland.

(Ministry of Finance/MTI)