Hungary could get an area crucial for the future of the European Union in the European Commission, which would be a recognition of both the country and its candidate László Trócsányi, the head of the Prime Minister’s Office said on Thursday.
Gergely Gulyás commented on President-elect of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen selecting Trócsányi as the European Union’s commissioner-designate for neighbourhood and enlargement.
There is a pressing need for the integration of the Balkans and accession talks should be started or accelerated with every country that meets the requirements, Gulyás told a regular press briefing.
During the European Parliament hearings of the candidates, Trócsányi could be subjected to attacks because the portfolio is closely linked to migration, an issue which causes much controversy in Europe, he added.
The minister assesed these potential attacks as revenge for Hungary’s position on migration policy.
He added that Trócsányi had been criticised by pro-migration forces in Hungary, too.
“The portfolio is Hungary’s, and people should think twice before attacking Trócsányi because he is one of the most suitable candidates,” Gulyás said.
In response to a question concerning the forint’s exchange rate, Gulyás said the government had no target for the exchange rate and the independence of the central bank would be respected. The weakening of the forint is much less important today considering that the majority of debtors have already been rescued from the “forex debt trap”, he added.
Concerning the effect of the weaker forint on the budget, he said the exchange rate change brought in extra revenues as well as resulting in additional losses.
The recent exchange rate change has not been so extreme as to warrant a response at the level of Hungarian economic policy, he added.
In response to a question, Gulyás also said that a constitutional amendment was not on the agenda and there were no plans to change the section about marriage defined as an alliance between a man and a woman for the purpose of having children.
Concerning the upcoming local elections, he said Budapest Mayor István Tarlós had been successful because he has cooperated with the government.
Opposition candidate Gergely Karácsony “would be obviously be unable to cooperate, and this makes him unsuitable for the post.”
Asked about opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) MEP Klára Dobrev and her comments concerning local authorities in future being able to apply directly for EU funding, Gulyás said the way in which funding was disbursed, whereby EU funds are directed to member states, would not change. He said the proportion of subsidies directly paid to local authorities was negligible, and this would remain the case.
Asked about whether the Hungarian embassy in Syria would be reopened, Gulyás said the government supported reconstruction, but no decision had yet been made about whether to open the embassy.