Zoltán Balog, Hungary’s human resources minister paid a two-day official visit to Poland where he attended Auschwitz commemoration events and met several ministers and church leaders. The Visegrad Four group of countries and the whole of Europe should find a common voice because otherwise Washington and Moscow will come to an agreement about Europe on the basis of their own proposals, he told the Polish daily Rzeczpospolita. Zoltán Balog said in the interview that there was no basic difference between the Hungarian and Polish assessments of developments in Ukraine and the role played by Russia. The two countries agree that the annexation of Crimea has been a violation of international law, EU borders must be made safe and the EU must help member countries in establishing energy security, he said.
Balog also said the Hungarian government has established central management in education and health care because it is convinced that the state should bear responsibility in these areas. “The most important tasks in education are to ensure that students acquire competitive skills, become familiar and identify themselves with their country’s history and culture.” Balog said that efforts to develop a labour-based society continued in the economy. People wanting to work should find a job while those who fail should be involved in the government’s public work scheme, he said. During his official visit to Poland, Zoltán Balog also said that Hungary and Poland would organise youth camps for young people from Ukraine. It has been also announced that Poland would host a large-scale Hungarian cultural season in 2016.
Meanwhile the Hungarian Foreign Ministry said that in 2015 Hungary would take over the rotating presidency of the International Visegrád Fund. The two governing bodies of the institution, the Council of Ambassadors and the Conference of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs held a meeting in Budapest on 27 January, which served as the opening event of the presidential year. The main issues of the meeting were related to decisions concerning topical questions of project-based cooperation and matters concerning the future of the Visegrád Cooperation. Welcoming the participants of the event, Deputy State Secretary for European and American Relations Kristóf Altusz praised the activities of the International Visegrád Fund, as well as the results and ambitions of the V4 cooperation aimed at strengthening the cohesion of the Central European region.
via hungarymatters.hu and kormany.hu photo: László Beliczay – MTI