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Dec 08, 2017

The EU must be built on agreement among Member States rather than through “declarations and teachings” from western parts of Europe, says government spokesperson

Zoltan Kovács said we must carefully shape the path for the further development of the EU in a way which duly takes account the different “heritages” of the individual countries and regions

Hungary's government spokesperson has said that the future of the European Union must be built on agreement among Member States rather than through “declarations and teachings” from the western parts of Europe.

Zoltan Kovács made the remarks during a conference organized by the British Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) and the Institute for Security Policy at Kiel University (ISPK).

Kovács argued that we need not “rush ahead”. We must take our time and review the functioning of European integration and the results it has achieved. We must then carefully shape the path for the further development of the EU in a way which duly takes account of the different “heritages” of the individual countries and regions.

He added that "the affairs on which Member States are prepared to further strengthen their cooperation must be separated from others", and we must re-designate the border line between the sovereignty of Member States and the powers of EU institutions.

He said that the Hungarian experiences of the past seven years serve as a valuable contribution to the process of common thinking. Based on these experiences, a Member State is much better equipped to cope with challenges in a flexible and effective manner than the institutions of the EU, “a remote and faceless bureaucracy”.

Following the meeting, Kovács attended a background discussion in the company of German journalists. 

He said that the refugee quota system is not only unreasonable and impractical, but also affects national sovereignty, and Hungary is not prepared to resign its right to decide independently who may live in the country.

Regarding the NGO legislation, he said George Soros’s activities clearly indicate that there has never been a greater need yet for ensuring the transparency of organizations funded from abroad.

Speaking about the amendment of the higher education law, he highlighted that all higher education institutions, including Central European University (CEU) must comply with the statutory regulations.