(MTI) – It is important to further strengthen integration in the European Union, Jose Manuel Barroso, the outgoing President of the European Commission, said on Thursday at a ceremony where he received an honorary doctorate from Budapest’s Corvinus University.
Barroso told the event that the EU is not only an economic project and a common market but integration based on peace, freedom and justice.
“Europe is not only Brussels or Strasbourg … but we are all Europe,” he added. Hungary is just as much the EU as all other member states. People need to get involved so that they don’t think that the EU is far away from them, Barroso said.
He noted that countries in central and eastern Europe had joined the EU ten years ago which marked the real unification of West and East and Hungary, too, had benefitted a great deal from its integration with the bloc.
He added that although all of the EU’s 28 member states cannot always agree on each and every issue they always take a decision in the end that deepens integration.
Barroso said that Europe’s future is in science because knowledge is essential for facing future challenges. He called providing more funding in the fields of science, innovation and education highly important.
Asked about the issue of the Norway Grants, Barroso said that the EC regards it as an issue between Hungary and Norway. But the European Commission continues to keep tabs on developments and will “talk about it openly with the Hungarian government,” he said.
Photo: MTI – Tibor Illyes