Hungary is bracing for a “tough year in Brussels’ courts”, the recently appointed state secretary for European Union affairs told the Tuesday issue of Magyar Nemzet. Oszkár Ökrös said conflicts on issues like migration and “identity politics” were expected to escalate in 2021, while Hungary continued to be a “top student” in issues like digitalisation, EU defence cooperation and climate policy. Hungary will need to be “vigilant” as “Brussels continues to push for a redistribution of migrants,” he said. “We do not need more or less of an EU, but a smart EU,” he said. Hungary is working to create a “multipolar EU” rather than a system of central and peripheral states, Ökrös said. In such a system, all member states would find the form of cooperation most suited to them, he said. Ökrös added that “overblown” Brussels institutions and the political mainstream of pre-2004 member states had embraced the concept of a federal EU and started to view this as the only path towards integration. “In our view the point of integration … is not curbing or assimilating national traits but giving them space,” he said. This year Hungary will also take over the rotating presidency of the Visegrad Group, a post with serious EU-related tasks, Ökrös said. The election campaign in Hungary will add to the challenges, he added.