Janos Boka – Photo: Facebook

Boka: Hungary’s EU presidency to ensure institutional transition

With the European Parliament elections afoot, a key task of Hungary's EU presidency from July will be to ensure institutional continuity and the conditions for responding to challenges during the transition, Janos Boka, the EU affairs minister, said in an interview to a Cyprus newspaper.

Commenting on his interview to Phileleftheros, Boka said in a post on Facebook on Sunday noted that his visit to Cyprus was part of a tour of EU member states with a view to readying Hungary for the presidency, noting that Cyprus will take up the presidency in the first half of 2026.

The trio presidency programme worked out with Spain and Belgium, endorsed by the EU Council, will focus on the bloc’s economic competitiveness, its demographic challenges, and migration, he said.

Also, priority tasks will include a medium-term review of the cohesion policy, bolstering European security and defence policy based on Europe’s defence industry, and adopting next year’s EU budget, he said.

Regarding enlargement policy, Hungary wants the process to be “objective and balanced” when it comes to Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia and the Western Balkan countries, he said.

Boka insisted that the EU had seemed to have lost its influence globally, and in the Middle East in particular, adding that the EU must be made capable of independently assessing its strategic interests and finding means to enforce these.

He called the EU a “platform of cooperation” between strong member states, and he said “a change in attitude” was needed. This, he added, may be ushered in after the EP elections, when significant shift to the right may entail “re-evaluating the policies adopted in the current institutional cycle”.

On the topic of Cyprus-Hungary relations, he said ties were “developing remarkably”, with both sharing similar views on competitiveness, cohesion, security and defence policy, Europe’s defence industry, migration and EU enlargement.

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