“Cooperation with Baden-Württemberg is important in view of the fact that this German state is the engine of European innovation, meaning that through joint effort we can contribute to increasing Europe’s competitiveness”, Minister for Innovation and Technology László Palkovics said on Thursday in Budapest.

A biennial meeting of the Hungary–Baden-Württemberg Joint Economic Committee was held in Budapest.

At a press conference following the closing, plenary session, Mr. Palkovics highlighted: “Relations between Hungary and Baden-Württemberg are strong, we ‘understand each other’s language’, and this is also important because the Hungarian economy is linked to Germany via many strands”. “Cooperation is particularly strong within the fields of the economy, education, science and environmental protection”, he added.

The Minister noted that the first day of the session had been held in Zalaegerszeg on Wednesday. “The Committee reviewed the results of the past two years and determined new fields for cooperation”, he stated.

He reminded the press that the Joint Economic Committee had been set up 30 years ago, and since then has been functioning exceptionally well. “The world is changing, and accordingly so is the content of the Committee’s work, and cooperation is expected to be significantly more intensive in future”, he said.

“Innovation has appeared in cooperation as a new element”, Mr. Palkovics emphasised. “Baden-Württemberg spends an exceedingly high amount on innovation, and on research & development”, he stated.

With relation to education, the Minister said the Andrassy Gyula German Language University of Budapest was also mentioned at the meeting, and both parties would like the institution to develop further.

He pointed out that the foundations of excellent relations are provided by the Hungarians living in Baden-Württemberg and the Germans living in Hungary, and these foundations will continue to enable a lot to be built in future.

State Minister Theresa Schopper spoke about the fact that 72 projects were discussed, all of which could provide further impetus to cooperation. “Digitalisation and innovation are new elements, and both are highly important to the economy”, she said, adding: “Environmental protection, the challenges posed by climate change and education are also possible fields for further cooperation”.

According to Ms. Schopper, cooperation is also important because Hungary could be a partner in forging relations with the Western Balkan region.

Following the press conference, the minutes of the meeting were ceremoniously signed.