Bratislava (Pozsony), May 26 (MTI) – The central European countries agree that European integration can only thrive with strong member states, Hungary’s foreign minister said in Bratislava (Pozsony) on Friday.
Szijjártó participated in a panel discussion with his Visegrad 4 Group (V4) counterparts at the Globsec Bratislava Global Security Forum, organised annually by non-governmental research organisation Globsec on foreign and security policy. The three-day forum started on Friday.
The discussion focussed on the future of the European Union and possible avenues of strengthening the bloc.
Two strategic approaches exist on bolstering the EU, Szijjártó said. One is to strengthen Brussels’ influence, the other to boost the independent member states. Hungary and the other central European states advocate the second approach, Szijjarto said. With the United Kingdom leaving the EU, this lobby has lost its strongest member, forcing the V4 member states – Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia – to represent their standpoint “in unity and more loudly”, Szijjártó told Hungarian reporters. Brexit thus increases both the responsibilities and possibilities of the Visegrad countries, he said.
“Conferring national competencies to Brussels is a dead-end street”, said, noting that all relevant solutions to modern, historical challenges were offered on a national level.
Szijjártó praised unity within the Visegrad group, which he called the strongest and most efficient bloc within the EU.
The minister said that the V4 countries expect the EU to protect the interests and rights of the numerous Hungarian, Czech, Slovak and Polish citizens living in the United Kingdom, and preserve strong economic ties with that country even after its exit from the bloc, he said.
Szijjártó is also to meet Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu at a business dinner on Friday. A strategic partnership with that country is in the interest of both Hungary and the EU, he said. While Turkey is expected to rise among the ten most developed economies of the world, the EU’s competitiveness continues to decline, he said.