Hungary’s governing Fidesz and Germany’s ruling CDU party have agreed to consult regularly on the future of Europe, Gergely Gulyas, head of the Prime Minister’s Office, said late on Thursday wrapping up a two-day visit to Berlin.
Gulyas was accompanied on his visit by Zoltan Balog, the former human resources minister and current head of the Foundation for a Civic Hungary, Katalin Novak, state secretary for family and youth affairs and Csaba Hende, head of parliament’s legislative committee.
The Hungarian delegation, which had been invited by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, held talks with CDU Secretary-General Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and CDU/CSU Bundestag group leader Volker Kauder, among others, Gulyas told MTI.
“Mutual trust is a given between Fidesz and CDU, and we want to deepen our cooperation, which requires a permanent framework for consultation,”
he said. This will start later this year, Gulyas said, adding that the two parties aim to hold consultations on the future of the continent at the highest level.
“We want to discuss the many issues on which we agree and debate those on which we might disagree,” he said.
“We’re very happy that today the two governments and parties are closer in their views on the issue of migration than they were before,”
He said the two parties also agreed on the importance of protecting the EU’s external borders and that help should be provided to those who need it in their homelands “instead of bringing trouble over to Europe”.
As regards German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s comments on the idea of “flexible solidarity”, Gulyas said Fidesz would have to wait to see the German interpretation of this concept. Hungary believes that a migrant redistribution scheme could only work if it was introduced on a voluntary basis. It would have to be based on the free will of the member states and Hungary does not want to take part in it, Gulyas stressed.
Hungary, on the basis of the Geneva Convention and in line with its own constitution, grants asylum to those who are eligible for it “but apart from this we do not want to take in migrants, nor do we want to take part in a redistribution scheme which the European Union tried to force onto itself,” Gulyas said.
On another subject, Gulyas said both Fidesz’s and the CDU/CSU alliance’s interests lay in upholding their alliance in the European People’s Party (EPP). He said both the German government and CDU believed that “there are enough problems in Europe that countries who fulfil all of their commitments and are part of the EU’s most dynamic region — like Hungary — don’t need to be singled out”.
Gulyas said their talks also touched on the EU’s next budget on which Germany hopes to reach an agreement as soon as possible. “We won’t be an obstacle to this if the talks lead to a good compromise,” he said. The Hungarian government is open to reaching an agreement on the 2021-2027 budget before next year’s European Parliamentary elections, Gulyas said, adding, at the same time, that Hungary would not consider it “a tragedy” if a deal were only to be finalised during the next EP cycle.
Source and photo: MTI