Slovakian President Zuzana Čaputová underlined her campaign pledge to be the president of Slovakia’s 450,000 citizens who identify as Hungarian, saying said she strongly believed that “a liberal democracy that guarantees each and every citizen equal rights is the best mode of protecting minorities”.
As regards the Visegrad Group cooperation, Čaputová said the grouping should not settle for defending just regional interests but should also stand up for values such as the principle of the rule of law, democracy and freedom. This is important, she said, “so that we’re not seen as weakening and disrupting the European Union”.
On the topic of economic cooperation, she highlighted industrial automatisation and robotisation as the most promising areas.
Čaputová said it was regrettable that for the first time none of the EU’s top leaders would be from one of the Visegrad Group countries. But Slovakia, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland are united by their citizens’ positive view of their countries’ EU membership, she added. In response to a question, Čaputová welcomed the prospective election of Germany’s Ursula von der Leyen as European Commission president. Áder expressed his support for von der Leyen on the condition that she helps Hungary and Slovakia expand the capacities of their nuclear plants in the face of Austrian opposition to the upgrades.
In response to a question, Áder described his meeting with Čaputová as “extremely friendly”. He added that though their countries may have disagreements in the future, it would in no way jeopardise Visegrad Group cooperation. Čaputová echoed Áder’s sentiments, saying that it was natural for partners to disagree at times. In response to another question, she branded as “lies” reports in the Hungarian media that she was an “agent” of US financier George Soros.