Hungary has been a democracy for 30 years and a member of the European Union for 16, Olivér Várhelyi, the European commissioner for enlargement and neighbourhood policy, said late on Saturday, marking Europe Day.
In a video message commemorating the anniversary of the Schumann Declaration and Hungary’s accession to the bloc, Várhelyi said that although “this is history today, it has a fundamental impact on all of our lives”.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s Europe Day “underlines the extent to which we, Europeans rely on one another and the extent to which we must rely on one another”, the commissioner said.
This crisis will not last forever, he said, adding that Europe and Hungary would recover from it. Várhelyi said the task at hand now was to work together to make sure that the recovery happens as quickly as possible with minimal losses, adding that the European Commission would be there to help every European.
The online Europe Day programmes organised by the European Commission Representation in Hungary and the European Parliament Information Office for Hungary also included messages from Attila Steiner, justice ministry state secretary for European affairs, EP vice-presidents Lívia Járóka of Fidesz and Klára Dobrev of the Democratic Coalition as well as Gábor Zupkó, the head of the EC’s representation in Hungary.
featured image: Olivér Várhelyi; via Mátyás Borsos/MTI/KKM