This Friday in Budapest Minister of Public Administration and Justice Tibor Navracsics asked the Members of the European Parliament from governing Hungarian parties Fidesz-KDNP to defend the Erzsébet Programme.

The Minister said that those business circles have attacked the initiative in Brussels; which were damaged during the conversion of private profit to a common one.

“We firmly believe in our right”, said Tibor Navracsics, who quoted the law on the programme which makes it clear that the Hungarian initiative is not a market-based programme but a welfare activity supported by the state for the specific purpose of ensuring social inclusion. He also asked from the prospective MEPs to allow officials of Brussels to come and know the results of the programme in Hungary.

As the Minister pointed out, last three years of the programme could be considered as a success story and a good example among others of how private benefit may be transformed to public benefit.

Tibor Navracsics explained that in Europe attention have turned on the programme in a good sense as well; with more countries thinking on how to provide holidays for those who are less well placed in such a way which fits specific governmental policy and complies with principles of market economy as well.

As he noted, with the Erzsébet Programme the Hungarian Government was able to accomplish this end. He emphasized that the programme is not only about planned vacations, but for example academic competitions and excursions too; part of which unused vouchers were shaped into briquettes and thus made it easier to heat schools in disadvantaged regions.