Instead of “declarations and lectures” from western parts of Europe, the bloc’s future should be built on a common understanding forged by the European Union’s member states, Zoltán Kovács, the Hungarian government’s spokesman, said at an international conference in Berlin on Thursday.
At the event hosted by the UK’s Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) and the Institute for Security Policy at Kiel University, Kovács said that the way EU integration operates and its outcomes so far should be calmly reviewed and then the “legacy” of certain countries and regions should be comprehensively taken into account when it comes to laying out the path of further EU developments.
The last seven years of Hungarian experiences may contribute to common thinking, given that a member state is better able to face up to challenges with greater flexibility and effectiveness than “the distant and faceless bureaucracy of EU institutions”, he added.
Cases where member states are willing to further strengthen their cooperation should be separated from matters concerning national sovereignty, and the boundary between these powers and those of the EU institutions should be redrawn, he said.
The key lesson to be gained from processes taking place in the zone stretching from the Baltics to the Western Balkans is that not all problems can be solved simply by taking over rules and transforming institutions, he said. It must be taken into consideration that the region joined the EU with a distinct legacy and situation compared with countries that became members earlier, he added.
Kovács said that the inhabitants and governments of the central European region were committed to the EU, but this did not run contrary to the fact that on certain very important issues “we don’t share Brussels’ vision”.
In a forum with German journalists, Kovács was asked about French President Emmanuel Macron’s ideas for reforming the EU. He emphasised that Macron’s was one plan, and there were still another 27 EU member states. Kovács added that the Visegrád Group would put forward its own concepts regarding the future of the bloc and a related conference would be held at the start of 2018 under the Hungarian presidency of the V4.
Featured image: MTI