Nearly 25 thousand applications for national subsidies worth 826 million euros in total. This is the 10-year balance of the Bethlen Gábor Fund, the Hungarian Government’s organisation handling over-the-border grants. Where did the Fund spend this money? For what purposes? In this article will present these expenses through charts, graphs and maps.
Based on the database scraped from the website of the Bethlen Gábor Fund, between April 2011 and December 2020, a total of 24 643 applications were financially supported in Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia and Austria, worth 826 million euros in total. What we must point out that these are only the applications – the Fund runs a number of other programmes which are not included in the database. 

The following charts give a general overview on the Fund's expenditures over the years, comparing the amount of money each of the countries neighboring Hungary received.

For the best user experience, we recommend reading this article on a computer web browser. 

The amount of money won through applications between Q1 2011 and Q4 2020.

The amount of money won by each country, shown on a linear-scale chart.

Romanian funds compared to the other countries, shown on a logarithmic-scale chart.

Slovakian funds compared to the other countries, shown on a logarithmic-scale chart.

Ukrainian funds compared to the other countries, shown on a logarithmic-scale chart.

Serbian funds compared to the other countries, shown on a logarithmic-scale chart.

The total amount of money received by each country.

The average amount of money received by each member of the Hungarian community in different countries.

Romania received the largest share of the funds, 63.54%.

Ukraine was the second with 13.8%.

Slovakia stands in third place with 11.87%.

Over the years, there have been several categories that received more financial attention than others. While in the first half of the 2010s, there were no significant differences between the amount of money attributed to the applying organizations, since the second half of 2016, two categories seem to have gained significant advantage over others: religion and education. There were also notable spikes in cultural subsidies in 2014 and 2016 and in heritage-oriented applications in 2019.
From the data we were able to scrape from the Fund's website, we have created a "searchable database visualization". It shows all the organizations which have applied to receive money from the Fund. They are arranged by their location (country, city) and can be filtered by their operation form. Hovering the mouse over any of the circles will also show the amount of money granted to these companies, enterprises or organizations.
Finally, we visualized the top 10 winners from four of the countries: Romania, Slovakia, Ukraine and Serbia. Both in Romania and Slovakia, a religious organization received the most subsidies from the Fund: the Reformed Diocese of Transylvania in Romania (152 million EUR) and the Reformed Christian Church in Slovakia (15 million EUR). In Ukraine, Ferenc Rakoczi II Transcarpathian Hungarian College of Higher Education won 35 million euros, and in Serbia, the National Council won almost 20 million euros.
In order to visualize not only the time and amount of the funds but also the locations, we created several maps, as well. Firstly, we can see how the subsidies were spread temporally and spatially. Each circle represents a successful application, and the size corresponds to the amount of money given to those organizations.

It is worth mentioning that the sizes of the circles are gradually increasing over time, meaning that more and more money was allocated to organizations outside of the borders of Hungary.
Below we can take a closer look at each partnering country.

Hovering over the circles will show the city of application and the amount of money granted to that city (or an organization located within that city).

The biggest portion of funds (63.54%) were awarded to Romanian applicants. Recipients located in Cluj Napoca received the most money from the Bethlen Gábor Fund over the years.

In Ukraine, Berehove, Uzhorod and Mukachevo received substantial amount of funds.

In Slovakia, many cities received small amounts of money, though some bigger cities (like Komarno, Kolárovo or Dunajka Streda) got considerable monetary aid.

In Slovenia, not many organizations applied for the BGA funds, and from the applicants Lendava leads the way.

Lastly, in Serbia, Subotica, Novi Sad, Zrenjanin and Backa Topola are the most notable cities of winning funds.

Below is a different approach of the same principle: the map shows how money from Hungary "flows" out of the country, to organizations located over the borders. The width of each flowing line corresponds to the amount of money funded to those cities. It instantly becomes visible that larger sums of money were given to the bigger cities with considerable Hungarian population. Companies and organizations based in Cluj Napoca, Romania received a total of 290 million euros. To mention some others, Subotica, Serbia received 48 million, Berehove, Ukraine 79 million and Kolárovo, Slovakia 17 million.
We scraped the official database of the Bethlen Gábor Fund from their website in December 2020. The basic subpage we used was the Pályázatok (Applications), because this is the complete dataset for all the applications submitted and revised by the Fund. It contains 58602 rows. Then we paired all the applications with their basic information, and with the applicants information. What we’ve got is the most complete database of the Funds decisions based on their official data releases.
Every application has a unique ID which starts in the database with 15950. The last ID is 75448. We reckon that the ID-s follow a consecutive order. The difference between the first and the last ID is 59498. Given that the dataset contains 58602 rows, the result is that 896 IDs are missing from the dataset. We don’t know why the IDs start with 15950.

The total sum awarded (Megítélt összeg) is 266,6 billion HUF, if we assume that every currency in the dataset is given in HUF.

The total sum awarded to Austria, Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia is 248 billion HUF, the total sum awarded to IJ4EU participant countries: Slovakia, Romania, Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia is 213,6 billion HUF.

The dataset contains the information on when the application was submitted (and not awarded). There are 8559 cases where this information is missing. According to the dataset, if we don’t count the obviously erroneous dates (for 2001 and 2009), the first application was submitted on 2010-10-01, and the last on 2019-11-13. The year 2020 is missing. If we count the annual average of the number of applications loosely around 6500, then might be that 6500 applications are missing for 2020.
Made by Attila Bátorfy and Krisztián Szabó

The full project can be accessed at the Hungarian Money website.
The production of this investigation was supported by a grant from the Investigative Journalism for Europe (IJ4EU) fund.