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May 29, 2017

Hungary and Slovakia strengthen partnership to improve global competitiveness

Hungary and Slovakia are working together to build new roads, new bridges and to establish more border-crossing points between the two nations to strengthen their global competitiveness

Hungary and Slovakia are working together to build new roads, new bridges and to establish more border-crossing points between the two nations to strengthen their global competitiveness, Péter Szijjártó, minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, has said.

Minister Szijjártó revealed the news before meeting his Slovak counterpart Miroslav Lajčák on the sidelines of the Globsec security forum in Bratislava. It was revealed that the construction of the new Danube bridge between Komárom in Hungary and Komarnó in Slovakia would start in September, and is estimated to cost 91 million EUR.

An EU tender to fund the construction of a bridge on Ipoly has been submitted, with another four further bridges planned on that border river. Plans are afoot for a new ferry as well, and the frequency of border crossings should be boosted to reach European average, Minister Szijjártó said.

Hungary has initiated connecting Győr in northwest Hungary and the ethnic Hungarian town of Dunajská Streda (or Dunaszerdahely, in Hungarian) in southwest Slovakia with a high-speed highway, including a new Danube bridge at Vámosszabadi, Szijjártó said, adding that he would ask Lajčák that the Slovak government should support the project.

During his visit to Bratislava last weekend, Minister Szijjártó participated in a panel discussion with his Visegrad 4 Group (V4) counterparts at the Globsec Bratislava Global Security Forum, organized annually by non-governmental research organization Globsec on foreign and security policy. The three-day forum started on Friday.

“Conferring national competencies to Brussels is a dead-end street," the Hungarian foreign minister told the forum, noting that all relevant solutions to modern, historical challenges were offered on a national level.

According to MTI, Minister Szijjartó praised unity within the Visegrad group, which he called the strongest and most efficient bloc within the EU. With the United Kingdom leaving the EU, this lobby has lost its strongest member, forcing the V4 member states – Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia – to represent their standpoint “in unity and more loudly”, Szijjartó said, adding that Brexit thus increases both the responsibilities and possibilities of the Visegrad countries.