Hungary’s Minister of Justice Judit Varga received Belgian Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Hadja Lahbib in her office on Tuesday. Varga highlighted the importance of the meeting by noting that Lahbib is the first Belgian foreign minister to visit Hungary since 2011.
According to Varga’s Facebook post, the meeting focused on the tasks to be carried out under the Spanish-Belgian-Hungarian Trio presidency.
Spain will take over the Council of the European Union’s rotating presidency
this July, followed by Belgium in January 2024, and Hungary in July 2024. Member states holding the presidency work together closely in groups of three, called ‘trios
.’ This system was introduced by the Lisbon Treaty in 2009.
“We share similar positions with our Trio partners on a number of issues, such as the need to increase the global competitiveness of the European economy or the need for the EU to take greater responsibility for its own security, and we, therefore, call for closer cooperation in the field of defense policy, thus strengthening the industrial and technological base of the European defense sector,” the Hungarian minister wrote.
Regarding migration, we agreed on the need to work together in order to strengthen the external dimension of EU migration policy,”
According to Varga, they also touched upon the issue of energy security and war. “The Hungarian position remains clear and straight: an immediate ceasefire and peace talks are needed instead of sanctions,” she emphasized.
The rule of law was also on their agenda, and Varga stressed that “it is important to have clarity, and that Hungary and the Hungarian rule of law cannot be judged solely on the basis of the opinions of biased NGOs.” “That is why meetings like today’s are important, so that parties open to genuine dialogue can understand each other’s positions. Minister Hadja Lahbib was also an excellent partner in this respect during our meeting today,” she added.
Following her meeting with the Hungarian minister, Lahbib went on to meet representatives on Hungarian NGOs critical of the government, including organizations focused on media, rule of law, migration, and LGBTQ issues.
Featured photo via Facebook/Varga Judit