Budapest, September 29 (MTI) – Significant political decisions must always take into account the will of the people and respect minority opinions, Human Resources Minister Zoltan Balog told a conference on Hungarian-German relations marking the 25th anniversary of Germany’s reunification.

This is a basic principle in Europe, meaning that “we must always aim to reach a consensus, which also applies to the ongoing migrant crisis,” Balog told the conference organised by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, the Antall Jozsef Knowledge Centre and the Andrassy University.

Balog stressed that in order to prevent the construction of even more fences in Europe, the continent must protect its borders. He said Europe should be open to accepting others but it must also be able to decide who it can or cannot admit and how those who are taken in can be integrated into society.

He said it was a “bad habit” spreading in Europe to counter opposing viewpoints by trying to discredit the ones who hold them instead of offering valid arguments. The people of Europe have to get to know each other over and over again in order to understand their differences in opinion, he added. Europeans must treat each other as equals when debating the various issues at hand, Balog said.

On the topic of Germany’s reunification, Balog called it a key condition that German unity had to be established within the western alliance system and there was no room for neutrality in terms of politics, the economy or values. Hungary was an important ally for Germany in this effort, he added.

German Ambassador Heinz-Peter Behr said that the restoration of German unity is key to understanding German-Hungarian relations, adding that Germany will always be grateful to Hungary for its role in helping to achieve it.

Behr said that as an ambassador his goal is to strengthen bilateral relations. On the topic of the migrant crisis, the ambassador noted that Germany and Hungary have disagreements in terms of how to manage it, but said that the two countries must not allow any disputes to get in the way of their friendship. Behr said he expects this friendship to be of help in finding a solution to the crisis.

Photo: MTI


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