House Speaker László Kövér has discussed bilateral relations and the coronavirus pandemic, among other topics, with Wolfgang Sobotka, the speaker of the Austrian parliament’s lower house.
During the meeting on Monday, Kövér asked his Austrian counterpart to help create the conditions for Austria and Hungary to sign an agreement on the mutual recognition of each other’s Covid immunity certificates. The two speakers were in agreement that cooperation against Covid was more important than ever before. Now that the pandemic is subsiding, both Austria and Hungary are ready to shift their focus to reopening their economies and lifting restrictions on movement, while continuing to adhere to health guidelines.
“It is in our joint interest to make border crossing between our two countries easier, which would be particularly important in the case of Hungarians who commute to Austria,” Kövér said. Sobotka said the Austrian government, too, aimed to find a pragmatic solution in this matter.
A statement read that Hungary considers Austria a key partner with whom it aims to boost its relations at a bilateral, regional and European level on the basis of honest dialogue. Monday’s meeting in Budapest was Kövér’s seventh with Sobotka since the latter’s election as speaker.
Kövér said Hungary and Austria had more commonalities than disagreements, adding that they were capable of discussing their differences with empathy and understanding. Hungary’s national assembly remains committed to intensifying and expanding parliamentary relations with Austria, he said, adding that inter-parliamentary dialogue between the two countries was set to gain new momentum with the easing of the pandemic.