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Boka: Hungary EU presidency offering ‘broad opportunities’

Hungary's upcoming European Union presidency will offer "broad opportunities to promote Hungarian interests and priorities", Janos Boka, Hungary's incoming minister for EU affairs, said at the "Tusvanyos" summer university at Baile Tusnad (Tusnadfurdo), in central Romania, on Friday.
22. July 2023 6:11

The minister, who will take up the post on August 1, said Hungary would take over the rotating EU presidency after the 2024 EP elections, at a time of an “institutional transition” when the country could “shape the EU’s priorities in a way that they also represent Hungary’s interests and priorities”. He added that Hungary would fulfill a “neutral and loyally cooperative” presidency.

Restoring the EU’s “declining global competitiveness” will be a top priority for the Hungarian presidency, Boka said. Working on the community’s cohesion policy, and closing the gap between regions will be “thematic components” of those efforts, he said.

The Hungarian presidency will continue “efforts concerning the EU’s migration policy over which members are in consensus” such as reinforcing control of the external borders and cooperation with third countries to handle the pressure of migration, he said.

The Hungarian presidency will also work to make progress in terms of EU enlargement and make “tangible progress in the case of each actual candidate and potential candidate”, he said.

Boka insisted that “each crisis within the EU gives its institutions a chance to reinforce federative components of European integration . resulting in increasing and broadening legislation and more and more stringent coordination mechanisms stripping members of instruments to handle crises on their own”.

The EU “has not managed either the economic crisis or the Covid pandemic successfully . but further and further powers and resources were transferred” from national to EU level, he said.

Concerning the integration of the Western Balkans, Boka said “the EU is acting against its own geostrategic, security, and economic interests when it slows down the accession of those countries.” He added that the reasons were “solely political”.

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