Prime Minister Viktor Orbán - Photo: PMO

Orbán: Hungary’s sovereign foreign policy supports Bosnia and Herzegovina’s fast EU accession

Hungary has sovereign foreign policy and it supports Bosnia and Herzegovina's quickest possible accession to the European Union, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said after meeting President of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina Milorad Dodik.

Orbán told a press conference that Hungary’s position coincides with the EU’s in certain areas but in other areas they differ, and he criticised the EU for making slow progress in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s accession process.

According to Hungary’s foreign policy, EU resources that serve to narrow disparities should be made available to countries ahead of accession if the EU wants them to join.

“Our foreign policy rejects the sanctions approach; we do not support any sanctions and will not do so,” he added.

He said residents of any given country should be able to make decisions on political matters, while international players should take a step backwards, said, adding that this is something that Hungary stands for.

Orbán said Hungary and Bosnia and Herzegovina saw great potential in cooperation in the areas of energy, infrastructure and agriculture, and the sides have decided to set up a special committee which will submit reports on the progress of economic cooperation every three months, enabling fast decision-making.

Hungary can help Bosnia and Herzegovina so that “above the level of everyday battles, there should be another dimension: that of progress, strengthening, economic cooperation and growth” because “it is important for people to have not only legs but also wings”, Orbán said.

Meanwhile, Dodik said: “We signed a joint declaration that will be the basis of cooperation in areas from health care to the economy, education and transport, and which will contribute to further strengthening ties.”

Hungary is an economically successful country and Bosnia and Herzegovina also observes what Budapest does in the field of demographics, a most successful area from which Banja Luka wants to take over best practices, he said, thanking Hungary for supporting the Serbian minority and contributing to developments. “I am pleased to see the development of Hungary-Serbia relations and we would like to be a part of that as members of the Serbian nation,” he added.

“We are ready to be partners in Hungary’s new and developed Balkan policies built fully on cooperation and understanding, which we do not see from other sides,” he said.

Dodik thanked Hungary its financial support for Bosnian Serbs which aided the smooth functioning of its institutions. He mentioned developing its electricity, solar energy and hydropower network in the part of the country inhabited by Serbs, as well as construction of a pharmaceutical plant and infrastructure. He also thanked Orbán for supporting Bosnia-Herzegovina’s European integration.

Orbán said European Union policy towards the Serbs was “unfair” in manifold ways, and Hungary felt a duty to support Serbians in EU institutions so they would be treated fairly.

He said the EU had “stalled” economically. “There’s no fresh dynamism or impetus in Europe’s economy,” he said, adding that Europe’s reserves of resources were to be found in the Balkans in terms of energy, population, territory and economic potential.

The prime minister said Europe’s economy needed Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina more than the other way around. Hungary, he added, was also interested in the success of the Balkans as this “boosts the value of the region and brings Hungary along with it”.

Leave a Reply