Budapest, April 29 (MTI) – The Visegrad Four cooperation has now become an “everyday routine”, Eniko Gyori, Hungary’s state secretary in charge of European affairs, told a roundtable organised on the sidelines of a conference on Hungary’s European integration, today.
Gyori said that members in the group – Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia – were seeking consensus on all issues but added that “occasional disagreement is no problem”.
Former foreign minister and EU commissioner Peter Balazs said that countries in the group were ready to consult neighbouring countries on specific issues, but suggested that the Visegrad cooperation “appears to be more efficient if the group is not enlarged for the time being”.
On the sidelines of the conference, Hungary’s MEP Gyorgy Schopflin told MTI that participants were in agreement that the EU’s enlargement had strengthened both the community and new the entrants. He added, however, that “certain drawbacks” of the enlargement were apparent: “closing the gap (between new and old members) has not come out exactly as we hoped ten years ago”. He added that old and new members are still being treated differently. “As a positive example, old members are a lot more often mentioned than new entrants,” he said.
Director General of the EC’s Directorate General for Enlargement Christian Danielsson said that the global weight of the EU had considerably increased after 2004, which he said was encouraging for the community’s further enlargement.
Peter Gyorkos, Hungary’s ambassador to the EU, said that pre-accession worries that a common internal market would not be operational have proved to be groundless. Financing the EU’s agricultural and cohesion policies has not involved serious problems, and European institutions have operated efficiently. He warned, however, that the integration process has not yet been completed.
Hungary joined the European Union on May 1, 2004.