Referring to the challenges, the president said the coronavirus pandemic was hopefully over but added that its economic and social ramifications were still to be faced. She mentioned the war in Ukraine, as well as an energy shortage hitting many European countries. She mentioned an increasing migratory pressure on Hungary’s southern borders. She also referred to uncertainty in society and uncompetitive salaries in certain sectors, as well as incessant fights with the European Union’s institutions.
On the other hand, she said the Hungarian economy was strong and the political system was stable, while the government had a strategic philosophy. Hungarians, she added, were proud of being Hungarians and Europeans at the same time, while they were ready to explore other countries.
Addressing the diplomats, Novák said cultures were different and decisions made in each were different, too, but Hungary respected all of them. In turn, the country expects other countries to respect its decisions.
Concerning the war in Ukraine, Novák called for pragmatism, but warned that Europe’s survival should also be considered. NATO must stay out of the war and avoid getting involved in the conflict, she said, adding she wished 2023 brought peace.