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European Union Fails To Hear Its Own Citizens, Head Of The Hungarian Atlantic Council Says

By Tamás Székely // 2016.01.26.

The past year was Europe’s hardest in decades, and the European Union has failed to listen to its citizens concerning the handling of the migrant crisis and the threat of terrorism, the president of the Hungarian Atlantic Council (MAT) said.

Vizi E. Szilveszter

Szilveszter E Vizi said he was convinced Europe could overcome its problems but said it was “surprising” how difficult it has been for the EU to manage the migrant crisis. Vizi said that Hungary, like other EU member states, was also caught off guard by the massive influx of migrants, but the government, the police and the army were all quick to respond. Germany, Austria and Sweden, however, are still struggling to stem the migrant flow. He noted that US Ambassador Colleen Bell has also recently praised Hungarian policymakers and the army’s swift response to the crisis.

Concerning Russia, Vizi said it has become clear to the US that it needs the help of Russia to stabilize the Middle East and north Africa, which will require the two countries to strengthen ties. Szilveszter E Vizi, former head of the Hungarian Academy Of Sciences, said Hungary plays a key role in NATO’s military and political tasks. As a civil organisation established to bring society, the military and the government closer together, the Atlantic Council is in constant touch with the councils of other NATO member states, the alliance’s civil organisations as well as the ambassadors and defense attaches of NATO member states to Hungary. MAT supports the government’s push to expand the role of the military in protecting the country, Vizi said.

The Hungarian Atlantic Council (MAT) was established in 1992 as a non-profit non-governmental organisation. Its original mission was to promote Hungary’s NATO accession and to contribute to the broadest possible acceptance of Euro-Atlantic principles and values in Hungarian society. The present activity of the Council aims at integrating into Hungarian public life of the Euro-Atlantic principles. According to its website, MAT’s primary goal is to strengthen Atlantic cooperation with other member states,  and to harmonize the Atlantic and the national idea in Hungary.

via hungarymatters.hu, MTI and mat.hu photo: Noémi Bruzák – MTI