Top Priorities for the Hungarian EU Presidency     Print
Friday, 11 February 2011

The European Institute held a breakfast meeting on Friday, February 11th, with The Honorable Bálint Ódor, Hungary’s Deputy State Secretary for European Union Affairs, to discuss the priorities of the Hungarian Presidency of the European Council.  The European Union’s efforts to reach agreement on permanent security mechanisms to protect the euro and to begin implementation of important economic governance reforms were a central priority, Mr. Ódor said. He also emphasized the importance of pushing the goals of the ambitious Europe 2020 strategy, with a focus on creating jobs and strengthening European competitiveness. Serious work towards a common European energy policy was underway, and the Hungarian Presidency was also looking to further agreement on the future of common agricultural and cohesion policies.  Mr. Ódor also outlined Hungary’s push for the establishment of a Europe-wide strategy to guarantee a better life for the Roma, as well as the need to sustain the enlargement process, particularly with regards to Croatia and Turkey.

On all fronts, Mr. Ódor stressed that Hungary’s role during the six months rotation of the European Council presidency is to act as a “broker” to insure that compromises are achieved. He readily acknowledged the importance of bringing the European Union closer to its citizens, and previewed the burgeoning debate on the European Union’s multiannual financial framework (2013-2019) by advocating a bottoms-up approach. “We should see what the EU member states and citizens need from the EU,” he said.