According to Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó, the best possible agreement was reached concerning the European recovery fund at the EU summit that ended early last week; had it not been the best, Hungary would not have accepted it.

The Minister spoke about the issue in an interview for France24 television on Friday evening. “If this had not been the best possible solution, we simply would not have accepted it”, the Minister declared. “Our main goal was for these European resources to be distributed fairly and on the basis of objective criteria. There was absolutely no question of us bowing to any form of blackmail, or of allowing certain countries to apply pressure to others and determine subjective criteria with relation to the method of distribution”, he added. With relation to plans by so-called “thrifty” countries to set the conditions for distribution, he said: “It is simply unacceptable to us to have access to EU funding by a certain country made dependent on conditions. No member state can prescribe whether another member state can or cannot receive some of this funding”.

In reply to a suggestion on the part of the reporter that the solidarity apparent in this distribution of finances could be the first step towards a federal Europe, Mr. Szijjártó said: “We do not believe at all in this idea that we might call a United States of Europe. We believe that the European Union can only be strong if its member states are strong, and that it can only be strong if its member states insist on their identity, which means their national and historical identity, and their religious and cultural heritage”.

The reporter also mentioned Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who wanted to make the method of distributing funding dependent on the fulfilment of rule of law criteria. “Mark Rutte is a pro-immigration politician. He hates our politics, which is strongly against immigration. It is obvious that in recent years he has not missed a single opportunity to punish Hungary for insisting on its anti-immigration policy”, Mr. Szijjártó said. With relation to how Hungary is preparing for a possible second wave of the coronavirus epidemic, the Minister said: “We have succeeded in keeping the situation under control, and keeping the number of infected people at a relatively low level. We do not want our efforts to have been in vain, and accordingly we are continuing to be cautious with relation to opening our borders to countries outside the European Union, but are of course allowing entry to all guests from within the EU”.

(MTI/Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade)