Speaking at a ceremony to mark the 30th anniversary of the Hungarian-German Friendship Treaty, Gergely Gulyás said the most important thing in this respect was that everyone should abide by the EU Treaties signed. To deviate from this, the Treaties would need to be amended, he said.
The minister continued, saying that if we agree on this, we can avoid trouble because "either we reach an agreement or the current framework remains.” Gergely Gulyás said that in Europe there will be more and more of the enhanced cooperation created by the Treaty of Lisbon, including the Eurozone and the Schengen Area.
He said there were social differences in the EU that "we cannot and do not want to change.” According to Gulyás, for example, the social policy chapter of the new German government's program "would not get you into parliament" in Central Europe.
"There is nothing wrong with that because we never thought that we should be the ones to envisage social policy ideas [for Germans] instead of the German government," he added, underlining that "we sincerely hope that no one else has the idea that they should be the ones to pursue policies [for Hungarians] in the place of the Hungarian government."
Addressing the ceremony before Minister Gulyás, Matthias Rößler, the president of Saxony's regional parliament, said the nation would remain the political home of its citizens in Europe. In response, Gergely Gulyás said that "we think this is key. We think that this is not only a consequence of the Treaties, but it is also in the Treaties.”
Speaking about Hungary-Germany bilateral relations, Minister Gulyás said that there is good reason for optimism because Hungary and Germany have been allies for a long time. "We have been together in good times and bad," and after the Cold War, the two countries are once again allies in the EU and NATO, he said.
Referring to the eastern part of Germany, he recalled that both countries suffered communist dictatorship, while West Germany enjoyed freedom, but with a sense of division.
Referring to the German-Hungarian Friendship Treaty, he said that it has been in force for longer than the Berlin Wall was standing. In his assessment, the minister said that the two countries have made impressive progress during this time, pointing to the fact that their economies have grown significantly together. For example, Germany has seen twice as much foreign trade with the Visegrad countries as it has with France.
Gergely Gulyás also spoke of cultural relations, noting that Hungary is the only non-German-speaking EU country where German can be studied from kindergarten to university.
Recalling the period after the collapse of the communist regimes, he noted that after the events of 1989–1990 there was frustration and a sobering-up in both countries.
Gulyás stressed that Hungary is the country most committed to freedom, democracy and the rule of law in the EU, whose current leaders — including the prime minister, the speaker of the parliament and the head of state — previously fought for the rule of law under a dictatorship.
"This is one of the reasons why we are reluctant to accept being lectured in this area," he stressed, adding that although Germany is a large and diverse country, there is a "worrying lack" of diversity in the German press. As a current example of this, he said that three days ago, the German news agency DPA falsified the words of the Hungarian prime minister.
The minister went on to say that in Hungary, too, "there is cause for concern at times,” as during the election campaign, "one of the candidates for prime minister said that he was leading an alliance where there were fascists and communists, but everyone could remain fascist and communist.”
"Obviously, this is incompatible with the interest of the German state, for example," he noted.