Tibor Navracsics – Photo: Flickr

Navracsics: Poland-Hungary cultural ties crucial to EU interest representation

Poland and Hungary's cultural ties could be crucial in helping the two countries enforce their interests in the European Union, Tibor Navracsics, director of the European Strategy Research Institute at the National University of Public Service, said at the 3rd Polish-Hungarian Forum on Monday.

Asked about advantages to the two countries’ close cultural relations in a panel discussion at the online forum, the former EU commissioner said Hungarians and Poles had many shared historical experiences to draw from which western European EU member states could not relate to. Navracsics said it had become clear in recent years that there was a “cultural gap” between eastern and western member states.

“Culturally there’s no difference between Hungary and Poland,” he said. “We see many things the same way.”

Navracsics added, however, that there were certain geopolitical differences between the two countries. “But this can even be an advantage, given that the two countries can . complement each other’s areas of interest,” he said. “In this sense the Hungarian-Polish axis covers all of the broader central European region.”

Navracsics underscored the importance of the teaching of history, saying that whereas in western Europe, history had not been a major subject since the end of WWII, central Europeans tended to look to history for explanations for today’s political developments.

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