The original concept of Europe as envisaged by its founding fathers – such as Konrad Adenauer – remains valid today and also remains so for Hungary and Germany, Minister of Human Capacities Zoltán Balog said on September 19 at the 24th general meeting of the Hungarian-German Forum in Budapest.

The Minister said Germany is no longer the same as it was 25 years ago and the change is partly due to the Hungarians, who opened their borders at the time. He added that the two countries managed to maintain the mutual trust established then, which in itself is an achievement.

Zoltán Balog also noted that both countries have a responsibility in continuing to share with the rest of Europe their experiences with dictatorships while making sure that democracy and solidarity regain their proper place in society.

Regarding the Ukrainian crisis, he said it was a failure of the European institutions that they were unable to devise a joint energy policy before the crisis erupted. On the issue of the Roma, the Minister said that minorities now have their own spokesman in Hungarian legislation, adding that given proper education, the Roma could become a resource instead of a problem.

Zsolt Csenger-Zalán, Vice-President of Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee said that German media should strive to properly check the facts before publishing their reports on Hungary and attempt to view the issues from a Hungarian perspective.

The Hungarian-German Forum was established in 1991 by the two countries’ heads of government, József Antall and Helmut Kohl.

(Ministry of Human Capacities)