Budapest, March 9 (MTI) – The European Union must adopt a new approach to global challenges, Nándor Csepreghy, the state secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office, said at an international conference in Budapest on Wednesday.

Europe’s strength in the world after the economic and financial crisis depends on seeking unorthodox solutions to its challenges, he said at the think.BDPST conference on research, development and innovation in the central and eastern European region.

He said European cohesion would be seen in a completely different way in the future, since it would not be about what kind of catch-up support central and eastern European countries would receive from the western EU nations, but rather how “innovatively we can organise our own lives”.

Addressing the conference, former Bavarian prime minister Edmund Stoiber said that in an ever changing world, Europe can only meet its challenges successfully if it preserves its integrity as a bloc.

The EU is currently unable to adjust to global developments as quickly as the United States, he said, adding that the continent must remain united to keep up with the US.

He said the EU must also act collectively in finding a solution to the migration crisis. Member states must reach a consensus on this matter, even if this poses a difficult task and requires more time to achieve, he said.

If we want to maintain Europe’s unity, we need to draft a common refugee policy which is acceptable to each member state, Stoiber said.

He called unity one of the greatest achievements of post-war Europe, highlighting further the significance of the reunification of Germany, the democratic transition of central and eastern European countries into independent states and their EU accession.

Speaking about Bavarian-Hungarian ties, Stoiber emphasised the long history of their development, noting that Bavaria is Hungary’s most important trading partner among German states. He added that the recent visit to Hungary by Bavarian minister-president Horst Seehofer underlined the fact that Hungary and Bavaria have strong relations and are engaged in intensive cooperation.

The conference is mounted by the Hungarian foreign ministry, the international Visegrad Fund and Hungary’s investment promotion agency HIPA.


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