Balanced and fruitful EU-US ties

Hungary
Institute for World Economics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences
 
On the two-day informal meeting of EU foreign ministers in Avignon, France in September 2008, the Hungarian Foreign Minister, Ms. Kinga Göncz, underlined that “the best possible moment had been chosen to review the future of EU strategic relations with the United States, two months before the presidential elections. The EU can identify precise areas where co-operation with a new US president is most important, such as Afghanistan, the fight against terrorism and the Middle East”.[1] Regarding the latter issue, according to the Hungarian Foreign Minister the new president should “approach the situation in a comprehensive way and avoid narrowing it down only to the Israeli-Palestine conflict. They must consider the interests of all participants affected by the crisis, for example, those of Syria.”[2] The Hungarian Foreign Minister also endorsed the common conviction that “the two pillars of the transatlantic alliance are bound by a common set of values. Fine-tuning standpoints is all the more important as new and influential powers arrive on the scene (China, India and Brazil) and it is no longer possible to avoid a restructuring of international institutions”.[3] Further priorities are for Hungary energy security of the region and a kind of stability spill-over from the EU to southern and eastern parts of Europe mainly promoted by the Union but strongly backed by the US.
 
The opposition also agrees with the most important international issues to be settled by a more pragmatic EU-US cooperation and they emphasize that the upgraded transatlantic relations under president Obama should be developing on an equal footing between the parties. In close connection to this József Szájer, Hungarian MEP (EPP-ED), highlighted at a conference in Budapest that the Fidesz – Hungarian Civic Alliance is interested in a strong European Union able to act efficiently on the international scene.[4]




[1] Transatlantic relations and the situation in the Caucasus were in the focus of a two-day informal meeting of EU Foreign Ministers in Avignon, France—Kinga Göncz’s statement after the meeting, press release of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 6 September 2008, available at: http://www.kulugyminiszterium.hu/kum/en/bal/european_union/Latest+news/0... (last access: 27 February 2009).


[2] Ibid.


[3] Ibid.


[4] Magyarország többre képes, available at: http://www.fideszfrakcio.hu/index.php?Cikk=127160 (last access: 27 February 2009).