Hungary is committed to supporting the integration of the Western Balkans into the European Union, the slowness of the enlargement process can easily cause instability, so the process must be speeded up – Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, emphasized on Friday in Budapest.
At a joint press conference with Bosnian Foreign Trade Minister Stasa Kosarac, the head of the ministry said that the Western Balkans has always been extremely important to our country, and that the importance of the region has increased even more following the war in Ukraine.
It is in Hungary’s national security interest that there should be peace, tranquility and security in the Western Balkans. The best tool for creating this is European Union integration and the development of the economy
– he underlined. “Therefore, Hungary is committed to supporting the European Union integration of the Western Balkan region, and we also provide support for the development of the economy in the Western Balkans,” he added.
Péter Szijjártó expressed his dissatisfaction with the snail-paced expansion process, which, in his words, “can easily cause instability and easily lead to the Western Balkans possibly aligning itself elsewhere”.
Unfortunately, instead of speaking in a tone of mutual respect, education is regularly coming from Brussels in the direction of the Western Balkans. In many cases, in Brussels they prefer to talk about the Western Balkans and not with the Western Balkans, all this is quite irresponsible
– he said. He pointed out that Hungary strongly supports the accession of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which is essential for regional stability, Hungarian experts are helping the process, and our country is also trying to promote economic development.
He emphasized that the government launched an economic development program in the Republika Srpska, within the framework of which 768 local farmers and businesses were supported in the amount of 11 million euros, from which those concerned could buy Hungarian agricultural equipment. An agreement was reached that a new round of support will be announced at the beginning of June, this time worth 17 million euros, from which local producers can once again buy Hungarian agricultural machinery, he announced. The minister welcomed the fact that last year the bilateral trade turnover reached 600 million euros, setting a record. As he said, in order to further expand this, it is also important that Hungarian companies were given the opportunity to participate in solar power plant installations in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Unfortunately, the consequences of the war here, in the neighborhood of the war, are serious. We feel the economic effects here in the vicinity, so we are both interested in the end of the war as soon as possible
– he stated.
He emphasized that the parties attach particular importance to energy security, and that the Turkish Stream natural gas pipeline plays an important role in this for both countries. He believed that in order to guarantee the energy supply of the region, the EU should finally give up the passivity it shows in the matter of increasing the capacity and modernizing the energy infrastructure in South-Eastern Europe.
This is a European matter. It doesn’t work that they want to determine from Brussels where to buy natural gas or oil, while they don’t help us to develop the infrastructure
he said. “If the European Union does not contribute financial resources to the renovation, modernization and capacity increase of the South-East European energy transmission network, then it will have no legal basis to have a say in where and from whom the countries here buy what energy carriers,” he declared.
Cover photo: Hungarian Minister of Economy and Foreign Affairs Péter Szijjártó and Bosnian Minister of Foreign Trade Stasa Kosarac (Photo: Facebook/Péter Szijjártó)
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