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Apr 03, 2019

Government does not support applying a qualified majority in the EU’s decisions on foreign policy

Zsolt Németh said the EU should pursue a “louder, clearer and bolder foreign policy”, but without violating the sovereignty of member states

A Hungarian official has said that the government does not support applying a qualified majority in the European Union’s decisions on foreign policy.

Following a meeting of member states’ parliamentary foreign policy committees, Zsolt Németh, head of the Hungarian Parliament’s foreign policy committee, said the EU should pursue a “louder, clearer and bolder foreign policy”, but without violating the sovereignty of member states or sowing further discord among them.

Németh said the EU’s foreign policy should not be burdened by contentious issues such as the acceptance of the “quota law” and called compromise-based foreign policy decision making a great virtue of the European Union. A strong leadership would be able to represent and enforce those compromise-based decisions effectively in the international arena, he said.

The official added that the EU has lately “turned inwards” and failed to focus on the bloc’s enlargement. He said European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker’s statement that no enlargement could be expected during his five-year tenure “had carried a negative message”.

He concluded that the position that the EU should be reformed comprehensively before further states can join the bloc is “dangerous” as it fails to calculate with the possibility of conflicts erupting in the Western Balkans. The enlargement process can also add value to, and should go hand in hand with, the reforms, Németh concluded.