Towards a climate neutral EU:
efficient allocation of EU funds

Mistake to avoid: a non-functional visitor center to present traditional agriculture

Organisation: Clean Air Action Group, Hungary Website: Added: July 14, 2023
Project start date: September 15, 2016
Project end date: April 30, 2023


The aim of the project “Complex habitat development and the construction of an agricultural center in the Mura river basin” was to improve the condition of the protected area of the local Biosphere Reserve by restoring the mosaic (forest, grassland, floodplain) floodplain habitats formed during the traditional extensive landscape use, to improve and maintain the drainage capacity of the floodplain, to strengthen the population of plant and animal species that disappeared or declined during the tanning process, and to create and demonstrate the potential for traditional extensive livestock farming. With that purpose, a stockbreeding center was constructed for the winter stabling of grazing livestock and for the storage of livestock equipment, and an educational trail was established, at the settlement of Letenye. The project was implemented by the Lake Balaton Uplands National Park Directorate, using 1,2 million EUR EU funds.

Although the stockbreeding and visitor center was constructed and it was inaugurated in June 2021, the facility is still (as of July 2023) empty and non-functional. According to the press, for almost two years now, the National Park has been unable to find anyone to bring animals and run the facility. In summer 2022, a call for applications for the facility stated that anyone who started working here would even get a plot of land. There is a high risk that by the time the facility is put to its intended use, the condition of the buildings would have deteriorated significantly. Therefore, public funds dedicated for a National Park’s efforts on the protection of nature and biodiversity have been used for a useless, probably oversized construction.

Financial data

Total: 1.2 mio EUR (470 million HUF) EU contribution: 100%


  •  It is essential to do proper project planning, including feasibility studies to make sure that all conditions exist for the long-term operation of the realized facilities and activities, in order to avoid the construction of oversized, useless, non-functional facilities.
  • The funding of National Parks should be increased in order to properly perform their meaningful tasks and activities.
  • The capacity of civil society organisations dealing with nature protection should be substantially increased so that they could be meaningfully involved in the planning and implementation of nature protection projects.
  • The capacity of investigative journalist organisations should also be substantially increased so that they could report about possible errors and mismanagement before irreversible environmental damage and/or financial loss occur.

Information sources;

Other info

European Climate Initiative (EUKI)
This project is part of the European Climate Initiative (EUKI). EUKI is a project financing instrument by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK). The EUKI competition for project ideas is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. It is the overarching goal of the EUKI to foster climate cooperation within the European Union (EU) in order to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.