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Preparations for Hungary’s EU presidency in the second half of 2024 are progressing very well, a state secretary of the ministry for EU affairs told parliament’s EU affairs committee. Barna Pál Zsigmond outlined the priorities defined for the presidency. “The most important task is to represent the interests of the European Union as a whole,” he said, adding that an EU institutional reform and most likely the war would also be among the top priorities. Hungary will take over the rotating presidency in July, short after the European Parliament elections when “the old institutions” would still be operating while new ones were being set up, he said. The state secretary said that other priorities included boosting the EU’s competitiveness, tackling demographic challenges, moving forward the enlargement process with special focus on the Western Balkans countries, combatting illegal migration and protecting the bloc’s borders. Strengthening the community’s defence policy and continuing its cohesion policy will also be important priorities, he said.