Written by Rainer Ackermann
EU Commissioner Thierry Breton, together with Hungary’s defense minister, took part in a topping-out ceremony in Várpalota: a huge ammunition factory is being built there.
“This complex is of outstanding importance not only for Hungary, but for the whole of Europe,” said Minister Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky at the topping-out ceremony of the “Military Industrial Complex” in Várpalota before the weekend. The development of an independent arms industry forms an important pillar of Europe’s strategic autonomy. On top of that, the major project, which is estimated to cost around 300 billion forints (780 million euros), would create 1,000-1,200 jobs.
Photo: MTI/ Zoltán Máthé
Breton praises “huge progress”
The Defense Minister recalled the first strategic considerations for the modernization of the Hungarian Army (MH), which took shape in 2016 – well before the outbreak of the war in Ukraine. Even back then, the Orbán government recognized the challenges that are now reality in military and security policy terms. As a result of these considerations, one of the most modern ammunition factories in Europe is now being built on an area of 400 hectares.
Commissioner Thierry Breton, who is responsible for the internal market in the EU Commission, praised the major investment because it strengthens the defense capability of the entire EU beyond Hungary. There is a huge need for ammunition after supplies across Europe are running low as a result of the war in Ukraine. Breton praised Hungary’s “huge progress,” which only spent around 1% of GDP on defense five years ago and now allocates more than 2%. In this regard, the other EU member states will gradually follow Hungary’s example until 140 billion euros are spent on defense annually at the EU level.
EU Commissioner at the castle
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán also received the EU Commissioner on Friday at his official residence, in the Carmelite monastery at the castle in Buda. From the Hungarian government, EU Minister János Bóka, Economics Minister Márton Nagy and Defense Minister Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky took part in the conversation. In addition to European industrial policy, the negotiations revolved around strengthening the EU’s competitiveness.
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán received EU Commissioner Thierry Breton (l.) in the Carmelite monastery in the castle. Photo: MTI/ Zoltán Fischer
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