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Boka: Preparations for EU presidency going “full steam ahead’

The government is going "full steam ahead" in its preparations for Hungary's European Union presidency in the second half of next year, Janos Boka, the minister for European Union affairs, said on Friday.

The government programme for the presidency will focus on developing Europe’s economy and strengthening competitiveness, Boka told a press conference on the sidelines of an international meeting held in Parliament, dubbed “Next Generation is Female”. Demographic challenges, the subject of the meeting, will also be on the agenda, he added.

“The conference is another step forward in the preparation of the programme,” he said. The female leaders attending the meeting come from countries facing issues that Hungary is also familiar with, he added.

Central Europe is seeking its own solutions to demographic challenges, and the relevant policies are the competency of member states, he said.

Hungary is in the process of identifying common challenges and assessing how European policies can be put to use in handling them, he added.

Judit Varga, the head of parliament’s European affairs committee, said that 2024 would be “a European year in Hungary” in light of its presidency starting on July 1.

Europe is made up not only of Brussels and EU institutions but of member states, which makes dialogue between them essential, she added.

Attending the meeting are Karoline Edtstadler, Austria’s federal minister for the EU and the constitution, Croatian state secretary for Europe Andreja Metelko-Zgombic, Romanian state secretary for EU affairs Daniela Anda Grigore Gitman, and Poland’s deputy state secretary for EU affairs Karolina Rudzinska.

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