“Hungary has indicated to the EU institutions that is it prepared to take on the rotating Presidency of the European Union from the second half of 2017, which was to have been originally assumed by Great Britain”, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade announced at a press conference in Budapest on Tuesday.

Péter Szijjártó explained: “Britain’s exit of the European Union has given rise to much doubt and conjecture, for instance with regard to whether they will be able to assume the rotating Presidency in the midst of exit negotiations; in any event, Hungary is prepared to take on the Presidency.”

“Hungary is the only EU Member State that, with the help of the countries of the Visegrád Group, has provided a successful answer to the greatest challenge facing the “abnormal” European situation, the migration crisis, and was the first to successfully stop the “senseless immigration”, and so a Hungarian Presidency with policies based on common sense and the security of European citizens could be of great use to Europe in the interests of normalising the situation”, he highlighted.

“Hungary received especially positive feedback with relation to its 2011 presidency of the EU and several important initiatives were launched during Hungary’s term as President, in addition to which the efforts of Hungarian diplomats also received acknowledgement”, Mr. Szijjártó noted.

“Never before has a Member State failed to fulfil its upcoming Presidency of the European Union, so there are now two possible options: either a Member State assumes the position or every upcoming President takes on the post six months early, but according to the information available those affected are not yet ready or are not willing to take on the Presidency earlier than planned”, he told the press.

“The first step to taking on the Presidency is for the British to officially announce that they will not undertake their upcoming Presidency. Once the official proceedings are underway a Council decision is required, meaning the Member States will decide on the matter”, the Foreign Minister added.

The country that plays the role of current President provides for the representation of the decision-making body made up of the governments of the Member States, the Council of the European Union. The acting President must work in close coordination with the European Commission, the European Parliament, and the President of the European Council of the heads of state and government of the EU’s Member States, as well as with EU representatives responsible for foreign and security policy.

(Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade)