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The Hungarian government accepts the European community’s fundamental rules but expects the EU’s institutions to abide with them, too, János Bóka, the EU affairs minister, told a conference in Budapest on Friday. Opening the conference dubbed “From the Pan-European Idea to the Maastricht Treaty” organised by the Habsburg Ottó Foundation and the National Public Service University, the minister said Hungary would want to “stay active” in formulating the rules of the EU. Bóka reviewed the history of European integration and paid tribute to Otto von Habsburg, as “one of the founding fathers of a united Europe”. He noted the importance of subsidiarity and said “decisions should be made at the level closest to the people”, adding that “European laws are pointless unless they are supported at the local level.” “Today it often causes friction as the EU institutions almost always feel a need to intervene, while the governments of member states see such a necessity much less often”. “A structure should not be built by starting with the roof — as preferred by European bureaucrats — but the other way round, from the foundations to the top; this is the best way to ensure, even in a larger unity, the freedom of the individual,” the minister said.