Viktor Orbán, Hungary’s prime minister, and President Wolfgang Sobotka of the Austrian National Council held talks on bilateral relations and the European integration of the Western Balkan countries in Budapest on Thursday, the prime minister’s press chief told MTI. Orbán and Sobotka agreed that what is already excellent cooperation between the Visegrad Four countries and Austria should be further developed. They also agreed that Europe as a whole, and Austria and Hungary in particular have a vested interest in the European integration of the Western Balkans.
Senior representatives of the V4 group and Austria are scheduled to hold a meeting in Budapest on June 21. Sobotka also met House Speaker László Kövér, who said that expansion at the Western Balkans is a “key issue” regarding the future of the EU, and Hungary will give all possible help to Austria, which takes over the rotating EU presidency on July 1. Expansion is vital to the region’s security, he said, adding that sceptical states should be convinced to prioritise it. After meeting Kövér, Sobotka said “good neighbourly relations” were instrumental in advancing the region’s interests.
The integration of the Western Balkans is important to ensure the region’s stability and the rule of law, legal certainty and the development of democracy. Economic ties between the countries are intense, he said, with both countries’ economic players “very happy” with the developments of the past two years, he said. Sobotka also called for reviving the EU Strategy for the Danube Region, which has been in “an enchanted sleep” since, he said.
(24. 05. 2018 via dailynewshungary.com)