“Germany is Hungary’s strategic ally and friend, which whom cooperation must be continuously expanded and dialogue must be maintained”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó declared in Berlin following a meeting with the German Foreign Minister.

At a press conference held jointly with Heiko Maas, Mr. Szijjártó highlighted: “We fully agree with Germany when we talk about the fact that we want a strong, safe and competitive European Union” that “also inspires competition within the EU and rewards member states that have implemented the structural reforms in the interests of their competitiveness”.

DownloadPhoto: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

“The two countries also agree that we want a European Union that is capable of protecting its borders, and which is a frontrunner with relation to developing the regions that surround Europe”, Mr. Szijjártó added.

“This is also served by the agreement we will be signing on Tuesday on joint German-Hungarian water development projects in African and Middle Eastern countries, which will provide many opportunities for refugees to return to their homes and live a life that is worthy of humans”, the Minister said.

“Hungary is also supporting Germany’s international aspirations, in view of which it will be voting for Germany on Friday at the vote to elect the non-permanent members of the UN Security Council for the 2019-2020 period, and it will also be supporting Germany at the vote on the members of the UN Human Rights Council for the period 2021-2023”, the Hungarian Foreign Minister told the press.

Mr. Szijjártó and Heiko Maas both stressed the importance of bilateral relations. The German Foreign Minister highlighted the fact that Germany is Hungary’s most important economic partner, with 6000 German enterprises already operating in Hungary. Mr. Szijjártó added that these enterprises provide jobs to 300 thousand people, and Germany is also the largest investor in Hungary, with total investments on the part of German enterprises exceeding 20 billion euros.

The Hungarian Foreign Minister pointed out that according to the latest survey by the German-Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, German companies operating in Hungary are more satisfied than ever before with their operating conditions, and 84 percent of them would repeat their decision to invest in Hungary.

63 major German investments arrived in Hungary during the 2014-2018 government term, creating 17 thousand new jobs, he underlined.

As he explained, Hungary would also like to further dynamise relations to ensure that the EU is not the loser of the current transformation of the global economy and world trade, the digital transformation, the United States’ “patriotic” economic policy and the strengthening of China.

“Cooperation between Germany and Hungary is key to this in view of the fact that modern German industry is the backbone of the European economy and European competitiveness, and Central Europe is the hinterland of modern German industry”, he added.

The German Foreign Minister underlined the fact that German-Hungarian dialogue must be further expanded, not least because unified action on the part of the EU has rarely been as important as it is today. “The German-Hungarian Forum to be held in Budapest in December also serves the development of more intensive dialogue, and will mainly concentrate on young people aged under 35”, he said.

“The importance of a unified stance on the part of EU member states is also indicated by the international agreement on the Iranian nuclear programme and by the American protective duties on steel an aluminium. None of the EU member states, not even Germany, is large enough to enforce its interests on its own”, Mr. Maas underlined.

The German Foreign Minister told the press that issues on which the approach of the two parties differs were also discussed at the meeting. These include the planned legislation on migration and non-governmental organisations, with relation to which “we have taken note of the fact that they have been amended, and welcome the fact that the Hungarian Government has made assurances that it will wait for the official opinion of the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission”, he said.

Mr. Szijjártó added that he had made no undertaking with relation to the Venice Commission concerning the so-called Stop Soros legislative package.

“The Hungarian National Assembly will decide on the bill, and it is Parliament’s task to decide on the schedule and date for coming to a decision on the legislative proposal”, he highlighted.

“I did tell the Minister, however, that if someone in Hungary performs activities that are at odds with our national security interests, then they must shoulder the consequences of their actions”, he underlined.

DownloadPhoto: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

“We regard someone inspiring illegal immigrants to illegally cross the country’s borders as an endeavour that is at odds with our country’s national security interests, and we regard it to be at odds with our national security interests for someone to help illegal immigrants to acquire opportunities to which they are not entitled, and we also regard it to be at odds with our national security interests for someone to assist people who have absolutely no right to international protection to submit a request for asylum”, Mr. Szijjártó added.

“When we protect Hungary’s southern borders, we are also protecting Germany, because people who enter Europe illegally via Hungary’s southern borders primarily want to go to Germany”, the Hungarian Foreign Minister underlined.