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President János Áder presented Frantisek Miklosko, the former speaker of the Slovak National Council, with the Order of Merit of Hungary, Medium Cross with Star in Budapest on Monday.
Miklosko was recommended for the award by Speaker of Parliament László Kövér for his role in the changes of regime in central and eastern Europe in 1989-90, his contributions to boosting relations between Hungary and Slovakia, as well as his endeavors towards reconciliation between the two nations.
In his acceptance speech, Miklosko underlined the importance of camaraderie among the countries of the region. The nations of central and eastern Europe have had to “endure enormous trials”, but the tensions among them had “brought their civilizational charismas to the surface”. He said it was the CEE countries’ commitment to their nations, Christianity, and freedom that had allowed them to triumph over communism and could also help them “in the present conflict with the West”.
As a civil rights activist in 1989, Miklosko fought for the free exercise of religion and the enforcement of fundamental human rights in Slovakia. He was elected speaker of the Slovak National Council after the country’s first free elections in 1990. From 1992, he was an MP of the Christian Democratic Movement.
In the featured photo (from left to right): President János Áder and Frantisek Miklosko. Photo by Noémi Bruzák/MTI