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Official advocates European cooperation based on ‘respect, sovereignty’

"We believe in a European cooperation based on respect and sovereignty," Barna Pal Zsigmond, state secretary at the European affairs ministry, said on Wednesday.

He noted European Council President Charles Michel’s bid to run in the European Parliament elections, and said “Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, the most experienced member of this circle, could even serve temporarily as the head of the body”.

Zsigmond said that the European left was “afraid” that “in many cases the right-wingers are expected to win” in upcoming elections “due to Brussels’ mismanagement of recent crises”. “People could now send a clear message to Brussels: they don’t want any more of the mistakes of leaders with excessive powers and bureaucrats have made in recent years,” he said.

Concerning Hungary’s upcoming EU presidency in the second half of the year, the state secretary said he believed it would be “another excellent presidency” adding that “we are prepared and we will assess all proposals on the basis whether they address real problems, and whether they take into consideration the interests of Hungarians and other citizens of the EU, as well as of Hungary and all other EU member”. The Hungarian government will promote “a position reflected in the National Consultation public survey”.

Hungary has an interest in a united Europe, in a “responsible cooperation, which has not characterised the recent period”, said Zsigmond. He said that “there could be disputes” because the Hungarian government “does not believe in dictates and lecturing others … and rejects the current practice of bypassing members’ interests”.

“Europe was built on a culture of dialogue; we believe in a cooperation based on respect and compromise,” the state secretary said on Facebook.

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