As a member state of the European Union, Hungary has become eligible to use EU development funding and funding granted by the Structural Funds since 2004. These are financial resources making significant rates of assistance available for member states through tendering.
During the 2004-2006-period, Hungary is eligible to receive development assistance granted from the Structural Funds to the value of approximately 510 billion HUF within the framework of the National Development Plan (NDP); consequently, together with state funding, this enables Hungary to implement developments to the value of 1350 billion HUF during the next few years. Improving the quality of life is the most relevant objective stipulated in the National Development Plan; a more competitive economy, better exploitation of human resources, better quality environment and more balanced regional development is required in order to be able to achieve this. The five so-called operational programmes (OPs), which cover the areas of development, were elaborated on the basis of these targets.
Over 60 calls for applications were launched from 2004 on within the framework of the 5 operational programmes listed below:
Agricultural and Rural Development OP (ARDOP)
Economic Competitiveness OP (ECOP)
Human Resource Development OP (HRDOP)
Regional Development OP (RDOP)
Environmental Protection and Infrastructure OP (EPIOP)
From amongst the operational programmes, the National Development Agency supervises the implementation of ECOP, HRDOP, RDOP and EPIOP from 1 July 2006 on.
The budgetary framework of ECOP for the 2004-2006 period exceeds 154 billion HUF, which ensures the opportunity to implement applications in Hungary ranging from the development of small and medium-size enterprises, through to research, major investments and the development of IT society.