“In the debate on the future of the EU, Hungary and Estonia are taking a stand in favour of a strong and competitive European Union that respects the sovereignty of member states, in addition to concentrating on the security of citizens and economic development”, Minister of State for EU Policy Szabolcs Takács said on Friday in Budapest following bilateral talks with Estonian Undersecretary for EU Affairs Matti Maasikas.

According to Mr. Takács, the artificial reinforcement of divisions between the EU’s member states and the weakening of nation states is at odds with the goal of a strong Europe, but we have nevertheless seen just such efforts on the part of Brussels in recent years. Hungary and Estonia have an interest in a strong and competitive European Union that supports the preservation of differing national identities, in addition to making a stand in support of protecting tangible achievements, even against the interests of certain Western countries, such as the four basic freedoms, Schengen, cohesion policy and the Common Agricultural Policy.

On the subject of the Article 7 proceedings against Hungary, the Minister of State told reporters: Hungary does not wish to change its migration policy despite the application of political pressure, and does not regard the idea of changing the continent’s ethnic map as favourable with regard to the future of Europe. “Hungary is ready to participate in any EU debate, including the proceedings on the rule of law in Hungary, because it has nothing to hide and can refute every one of the false claims included in the Sargentini Report in detail”, Mr. Takács underlined.

According to Mr. Takács, long negotiations can be expected with relation to the EU’s post-2020 7-year budget, in view of the fact that most member states regard the original draft put forward by Brussels as unacceptable. Hungarian and Estonian interests are also in harmony with relation to the fact that both countries not only regard the preservation of cohesion policy as paramount, but also the funding of innovation, in the interests of which all member states should receive an equitable share within the Horizon Europe programme.

According to the Minister of State, during the course of negotiations on the new posting regulations for the road transport sector, Hungary continues to regard the interests of the freight transport industry and competitiveness as most important. With relation to Brexit, both governments have an interest in the maintaining of the closest possible economic and defence policy cooperation between the EU and the United Kingdom in future, in addition to which one of their priority goals is to assure the rights and interests of EU citizens living in the UK.

((Prime Minister’s Office))