Gergely Gulyas – Photo: MTI

Gulyas: Close cooperation among EU countries ‘indispensable’

Although the European Union has been unsuccessful in achieving its goals in recent years, global economic competition makes it crucial for EU member states to strive for the closest possible cooperation, the prime minister's chief of staff said on Tuesday.

Addressing a roundtable discussion at the presentation of a book on the future of the EU, Gergely Gulyas said Europe was losing its significance on the global stage, and singled out Germany as “the only state on the continent that can hold its own in the global economy”.

As regards Hungary’s relationship with the EU, Gulyas said it was imperative that the country define itself as a member of the bloc, arguing that there was no alternative to European cooperation. At the same time, the EU had failed to strengthen itself and achieve its goals in recent years, he added.

Gulyas lamented that the bloc had failed to expand its integration to defence and establish a joint army.

Gulyas said that though the integration of the central and eastern European countries had seemed like a natural progression in the life of the EU, social and political divides between the older and newer member states still persisted. And instead of accepting this, he said, the older member states responded to this phenomenon with “total intolerance”.

He said the EU was “stealthily” taking over more and more powers from member states, leading to constitutional conflicts.

Gulyas underscored the importance of keeping the bloc together, adding, however, that it was crucial to preserve the differences among member states. The western member states must accept that central Europe has not and does not want to adapt to their path of development, he added.

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