The Government has been consciously organising and enforcing the policy of Hungarian sovereignty and independence in an alliance, in the European Union ever since 2010, János Lázár, the Minister heading the Prime Minister’s Office said on Friday in the Parliament Building.

At the awards ceremony of the competition Hungary and the Central-European Region in the European Union, the European Union in the World invited for university and college students, Mr Lázár mentioned among the challenges the EU is faced with, the preservation of its competitiveness in the world economy, Brexit and the transformation of Europe.

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He said: the EU is making an ever declining contribution to the world’s GDP, and it is questionable what the situation will be after Brexit. It is important to investigate what kinds of reforms are required so that Europe may compete with the United States and the eastern world, may become competitive and may be able to guarantee a quality of life that is sustainable in the long run, he pointed out.

According to the Minister, it is likewise a question of the essence whether the exit of Britain is a threat or an opportunity for the EU. The Government’s position is clear: both Europe and Britain must come out of the process as winners, he stated. He added: following its departure, Britain will be Hungary’s most significant economic partner outside the EU.

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Mr Lázár took the view regarding the transformation of Europe that there are two contrasting positions: whether there is a need for even greater integration and more central decisions or whether there is a need for strong nations without which it is impossible to build a strong Europe. “We do not believe in uniformity, but in equality”, he said, remarking: Hungary will have to play an intensive part in the debate on this.

The Minister highlighted: they are able to enforce the Hungarian interests with the involvement of the Hungarian people, and this requires the participation of every young person who is ready to work to make Hungary stronger and enable it to enforce its interests.

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Gábor Zupkó, the head of the European Commission Representation in Hungary pointed out that Hungary is a committed member of the EU, is an active participant in the debate on the EU, and takes advantage of the benefits arising from its membership.

He reiterated: in Rome the heads of Member States and EU institutions have recently reviewed the challenges Europe is facing, and have come to the conclusion that they have reason to be proud of the results achieved and envisage the resolution of these challenges within the boundaries of the EU as they can take action most effectively together so that Europe may prosper and become safer.

According to the head of the Representation, there is a need for good experts for the enforcement of the EU’s achievements as well as for the representation of the interests of the Member States, the development of new sector-specific policies, and the appropriate functioning of the institutions of the EU. This competition proves that there is plenty of succession for this in Hungary, and there is education to high standards in higher education institutions, he said stating his view.

The prizes were handed over by László Kövér, Speaker of the House, János Lázár and Gábor Zupkó.

Entries were expected on eight issues in the competition, including EU policy, the experiences of a Member State regarding EU membership, the single market, EU-US relations and Brexit. Entries were evaluated by a panel comprised of experts who were requested to act as judges by the Speaker of the House. The winners received cash prizes and may attend a two-day study trip in Brussels.