New ministers pledge to protect national interests

Parliament’s relevant committees interviewed candidates for ministers in Hungary’s new government on Monday.

Foreign minister-elect Peter Szijjarto told the parliament’s foreign affairs committee that national interest will continue to be the key principle guiding Hungary’s foreign policy. Hungary’s main foreign policy goals include protecting the country’s sovereignty, security and national identity, Szijjarto told the committee. A further objective is to continue to contribute to efforts aimed at preserving Christian culture, he said. The ministry, which also oversees trade policy, will enhance efforts to boost of the Hungarian economy’s competitiveness, Szijjarto said.

Deputy prime minister-elect in charge of Hungarian communities abroad Zsolt Semjen pledged to continue economic development schemes that support Hungarian communities in neighbouring countries. At a parliamentary committee hearing, Semjen said economic support was crucial to preserving the community of Hungarians. But schemes aimed at strengthening Hungarian identity, maintaining ties with ethnic Hungarian parties beyond borders and fast-track Hungarian citizenship were also instrumental, he told parliament’s national cohesion committee.

Interior minister-elect Sandor Pinter told a hearing of parliament’s defence and national security committees that his tasks would essentially remain unchanged in his fourth term heading the portfolio. He said protecting Hungary’s culture and national sovereignty, as well as maintaining law and order and security were his main tasks.     Pinter told the committees that illegal migration posed the greatest threat to peace and order, and protecting Hungary’s borders was paramount. The government wants to ensure that Hungarians can continue their everyday lives without living under any kind of threat, he said.

The government will tighten the “Stop Soros” bill and this will mean making appropriate changes to the constitution, cabinet chief Antal Rogan, who has been nominated to continue in his post in the next cycle, told parliament’s justice committee. Rogan said the law would prevent all activities aimed at facilitating the illegal entry of migrants into Hungarian territory. Organisations funded from abroad are helping them, he added.     The government will make the necessary arrangements for the “Stop Soros” bill and a related constitutional amendments in the next few weeks, and the government will discuss it on May 23 so that a parliamentary debate on the bill can start in early June, he said.

Tibor Benko, chief of staff of the Hungarian military, who has been nominated as defence minister, told a joint session of the defence and national security committees that Hungary’s military capabilities should be “in line with the challenges of the time” to make the country an “even more appreciated” member of NATO. He added that he considered transatlantic relations of strategic importance. Benko referred to a changing national security committee and mentioned hybrid and cyber warfare as well as the increasing threat of terrorism, for which, he said, massive illegal migration was a “hotbed”. 

Justice minister-elect Laszlo Trocsanyi, at a hearing in parliament’s judicial committee, called for the completion of efforts to set up a supreme public administration court. Trocsanyi noted that such a court had not existed in Hungary since 1949, when “communist dictatorship removed all institutions of the rule of law”. 

Source and photo: MTI


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