Hungarian Minister of Finance János Veres and EIB Vice-President Ivan Pilip signed on 30 November 2006 two finance contracts relating to the construction of 72 km of motorway sections and by-pass connections on the M3/M35 motorway connecting Budapest with Hungary's second largest city Debrecen, and a loan for the up-front co-financing of the Hungarian portion of the EU Cohesion Funds.
On the same day EIB Vice-President Ivan Pilip and the Hungarian Development Bank's CEOs Janos Erős and Sándor Czirják signed a EUR 100 million operation to finance small projects in the areas of infrastructure, energy, environmental protection, etc.
The M3/M35 Motorway, being part of the Trans-European Network, links the Hungarian capital Budapest with the less developed regions of Hungary in the East. Its completion is extremely important for the development of the eastern parts of Hungary and their connection with the EU capitals. The project involves the construction of a bypass around the city of Nyíregyháza and the extension of the motorway from Görbeháza to Debrecen, including a Debrecen bypass road. The new motorway sections will increase transport safety and help to cope with the increased traffic flow since Hungary joined the European Union.
A loan of EUR 100 million will co-finance the Hungarian State's contribution to projects benefiting from EU grant support under the Cohesion Fund 2007-2013. The loan targets projects relating to transport development, energy (mainly efficiency and renewable) and environmental protection.
A EUR 100 million long-term line of credit will be granted to the National Development Bank (MFB). Following the successful implementation of a facility granted in 2005, the proposed operation will enhance co-operation with a key partner for development financing in Hungary. MFB will on-lend these EIB funds to Hungarian municipalities or associations thereof, or to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises to improve their access to medium and long-term financing and to support projects, among others in the areas of environmental protection, energy or infrastructure (including urban transport, health, education and urban renewal). The focus is on sub-projects that are supported by the MFB through the government-sponsored Municipal Infrastructure Development Loan Programme or Enterprise Development Loan Programme.
The task of the EIB, the European Union's financing institution, is to contribute towards the integration, balanced development and economic and social cohesion of the Member States. EIB lending in Hungary has exceeded EUR 1 billion in 2006 and reached some EUR 6.3 billion since 1990. EIB resources have been allocated to projects involving infrastructure (40%), SMEs (23%), the energy and telecommunication sectors (14%) and the water cycle and environmental protection (10%).