Published: November 16 2023
The upcoming Hungarian EU Presidency has prioritized boosting competitiveness as a key objective. This was highlighted during a bilateral meeting between EU Affairs Minister János Bóka and Austrian Federal Minister Karoline Edtstadler, where they discussed illegal migration, EU enlargement, and the situation in the Middle East.
Hungarian Position on EU Enlargement
Hungary's position on EU enlargement, especially with regards to the Western Balkan countries, has always been clear. Minister János Bóka emphasized the need for a strategic debate before making any decisions, particularly for Ukraine's accession. This debate should address concerns about the impact on the EU's security and the purpose of the enlargement process.
Addressing Illegal Migration
János Bóka stressed that illegal migration is a European problem that requires a European solution. He emphasized the importance of finding a consensual solution to determine who is allowed to enter the EU, rather than leaving this decision to people smuggling networks. The agreement between Austria, Hungary, and Serbia is one such example that has already yielded tangible results.
Focus on Competitiveness
Competitiveness will be a central focus for the Hungarian presidency. It will serve as a key priority, with all other objectives derived from it. The aim is to strengthen the EU's competitiveness, and Austria has been an important partner in this endeavor.
Cooperation and Economic Ties
Hungary and Austria have a long history of successful cooperation, with close economic ties. Austria is Hungary's third largest trading partner and one of its biggest investors, with around 1,400 Austrian companies operating in Hungary and employing 70,000 people. These strong economic relations further support the partnership between the two countries.
As the Hungarian EU Presidency approaches, the focus on boosting competitiveness takes center stage. Priorities include EU enlargement, addressing illegal migration, and strengthening economic ties. Cooperation with Austria is crucial in achieving these objectives.
Questions & Answers
What were the topics discussed during the bilateral meeting between EU Affairs Minister János Bóka and Karoline Edtstadler? The topics discussed during the meeting were illegal migration, EU enlargement, strengthening the EU’s competitiveness, and the situation in the Middle East.
What will be a key priority of Hungary's presidency of the Council of the EU next year? EU competitiveness will be a key priority of Hungary's presidency of the Council of the EU next year.
What is Hungary's position on EU enlargement with regard to the Western Balkan countries? Hungary's position on EU enlargement with regard to the Western Balkan countries has always been clear.
What is Hungary's position on Ukraine's accession to the EU? Hungary's position on Ukraine's accession is that a strategic debate must be held before any decision is made. The position is based on the premise that the EU's security must be taken into consideration and that an open and frank debate is necessary.
What is Hungary's position on the question of whether the EU's security is strengthened or weakened by opening accession negotiations with a country at war with a neighboring nuclear power? Hungary's position is that a position must be taken on whether the EU's security is strengthened or weakened by opening accession negotiations with a country at war with a neighboring nuclear power.
What is Hungary's position on the purpose of the enlargement process? Hungary believes that a position must be taken on the purpose of the enlargement process.
What is Hungary's view on illegal migration? Hungary views illegal migration as a European problem and believes that a European solution must be found.
What solution does Hungary believe is needed for the issue of illegal migration? Hungary believes that a consensual solution is needed for the issue of illegal migration, starting from the point that the decision of who is let into the EU should be made by the authorities, not people smuggling networks.
What agreement has Hungary made with Austria and Serbia regarding migration? Hungary has made an agreement with Austria and Serbia regarding migration, which has already produced "tangible" results.
What is Hungary's stance on the situation in the Middle East? Hungary is interested in the immediate and unconditional release of hostages, including Hungarian citizens, to avoid regional escalation and to ensure that Israel can effectively exercise its right to self-defense.
What are the priorities of the Hungarian Presidency? The priorities of the Hungarian Presidency include the fight against illegal migration, particularly the protection of external borders.
What are the economic ties between Hungary and Austria? Hungary and Austria have close economic ties, with Austria being Hungary's third largest trading partner and one of its biggest investors. There are approximately 1,400 Austrian companies active in Hungary, employing 70,000 people.