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Jul 20, 2016

Hungary in the running for EU presidency in 2017

Hungary has signaled to the European Union that it wants to take over from Britain on the rotating EU presidency in 2017

Hungary has expressed to the European Union that it is ready to take over from Britain on the rotating presidency in the second half of 2017, Péter Szijjártó, minister of Foreign Affairs & Trade has said.

Szijjártó said that the withdrawal of the UK from the EU has raised serious doubts and guesswork concerning issues surrounding Brexit.

Hungary, with the help of its Visegrad Group partners, is the only EU member state that has presented a successful response to the main challenges of the “abnormal” European situation, such as to the migration crisis, the minister added.

Hungary is in a good position to head the bloc, given its sober policies based on ensuring public security, he said.

Further, the country and its diplomats received positive feedback concerning its last stint at the rotating helm of the EU in the first half of 2011, he said.

Szijjártó said it was also possible that member states lined up to serve in the role would do so six months early, though many had indicated their reluctance to do this.

The first condition for undertaking to relieve the British of the presidency would be an official notification by the UK that they do not wish to take on the job. After this, it would be up to the European Council to decide on the question, he added.