Budapest, July 19 (MTI) – Hungary has signalled to the European Union that it is ready to take over from Britain the duty of holding the bloc’s rotating presidency in the second half of 2017, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó told a news conference on Tuesday.
He said the withdrawal of the UK from the EU had raised serious doubts and guesswork concerning issues such as the status of the rotating presidency amid Brexit negotiations.
The minister said Hungary, with the help of its Visegrad Group partners, is the only EU member state that has presented a successful response to the main challenges of the “abnormal” European situation, such as to the migration crisis. So Hungary is well placed to head the bloc, given its sober policies based on ensuring public security, he said.
Further, the country and its diplomats received especially positive feedback concerning its last stint at the rotating helm of the EU in the first half of 2011, he said.
Szijjártó said it was also possible that member states lined up to serve in the role would do so six months early, though many had indicated their reluctance to do this.
The first condition for undertaking to relieve the British of the presidency would be an official notification by the UK that they do not wish to take on the job. After this, it would be up to the European Council to decide on the question, he added.