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PRESIDENT SULYOK: HUNGARY INTENT ON STRENGTHENING EUROPE

 

Hungary is intent on strengthening Europe and its communities as well as conserving peace in the bloc, President Tamás Sulyok said in Brussels. Giving a speech late on Monday on the occasion of the opening of the Hungarian presidency of the Council of the European Union, Sulyok noted that Hungary held the rotating presidency “successfully” 13 years ago. Hungary, he said, was committed to defending Europe’s interests and the rights and obligations stipulated in the founding treaties, as well as overcoming the challenges it faces, adding that Hungary would do so responsibly and serve the citizens of Europe. He said the union was “Europe’s hope and promise” after the tragic events of the 20th century, and described the EU as a “remarkable and unique economic and political union; less than a state but more than a simple federation”, based on “our common Christian culture and values” and the equality and sovereignty of its member states. Its strength lay, he said, in the diversity of its nations and the values and characteristics of its member states. The “common European will”, he added, derived from the “separate will of its members” and values deeply rooted in the singularities and constitutions of member states. He said unity did not equate with uniformity and common action was not an automatic given. “Differences of opinion and debates help us understand each other to better find solutions to common challenges,” the president said, adding that it was desirable for member states to seek mutual respect and for all opinions to be considered, as the EU would never have been created had it not been established on the basis of mutual understanding.