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May 10, 2018

Hungary’s FM says foreign policy will continue to protect the country’s sovereignty and security while improving its economy

Péter Szijjártó, minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said that protecting sovereignty and security was an important goal but is bound to lead to legal and political battles

Hungary’s foreign minister has said foreign policy will continue to aim towards protecting the country’s sovereignty and security while improving its economic competitiveness over the next four-year term.

During a lecture at the National University of Public Service, Péter Szijjártó, minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said that protecting sovereignty and security was an important goal but is bound to lead to legal and political battles.

He said Hungary’s efforts to put foreign policy on a new footing meant attaching importance not only to its political aspects but to its economic functions. He added that it was his duty to identify and enforce Hungary’s economic interests.

The foreign minister said the EU had never before faced such a combination of challenges as migration, terrorism, the war in Ukraine, Brexit and energy security.

“The problem is not that there’s a debate,” he said. “But when someone represents a point of view that diverges from the mainstream, it is a problem if they are branded as un-European.”

He confirmed that there was common agreement shared by Hungary on the ultimate goal of having a strong Europe, adding that Hungary believes that strong member states are a precondition for a strong EU.

Minister Szijjártó said migration was not a fundamental human right. Hungary maintains that everyone can live in peace and security in their own country, and this must be guaranteed to everyone.

Hungary also insists that a key attribute of sovereignty is a country’s ability to guard its own border, he said. Every country also has the right to determine what responses it gives to its economic and demographic challenges, he added.