Budapest, October 4 (MTI) – Ties between Hungary and the Netherlands are “friendly”, and on such foundations it will be possible to build the European Union’s future in related debates, Péter Szijjártó, Hungary’s foreign minister, said on Tuesday after meeting Dutch counterpart Bert Koenders.
In a joint news conference, Szijjártó said never before in Hungary had a policy received so many votes and never before had a political force received so much support. Whereas it is true that turnout did not reach the 50 percent validity threshold, it was higher than for the latest European parliamentary elections, he said.
Bert Koenders, speaking on the same topic, said that many people in Hungary worried about what migration really meant and what this entailed in terms of integration. At the same time, there is a European decision-making system that cannot be changed through a national referendum, he said, adding that it cannot be assessed what kind of consequences the referendum will have in the EU.
He said the fact that the participation rate had not reached 50 percent must also be taken into consideration and this meant the referendum was invalid. There are integration problems everywhere due to migration, he said, adding that the EU is a community of values in which solidarity and respect for the rule of law were regarded as important.
Hungary and the Netherlands agree on many issues when it comes to the challenges facing the EU, though there are some difference of opinion, too, Szijjártó said. What is definitely an area of agreement is that the EU’s most important virtue is its unity, and this is why any kind of eventuality that could lead to its deterioration should be avoided, the minister said.
Koenders said that in order to EU member states to stay together, national differences should be debated. As in all families, there are things that some people do not like but there are others on which they agree, he added.
The Dutch foreign minister met Hungarian parliamentary speaker László Kövér, and they agreed on the importance of close cooperation between the two countries’ parliaments, parliament’s press office said in a statement.