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President Katalin Novák spoke about the difficulties, challenges, and achievements of the past year at the traditional New Year reception for the diplomatic corps on Wednesday evening.
Speaking at the Hungarian House of Music in Budapest, Katalin Novák recalled that 2022 had been an extremely difficult year, as the country had just recovered from the coronavirus epidemic when neighboring Ukraine was attacked by Russia. In addition to the war, many European countries had problems with energy supplies. Hungary’s southern borders are under increasing migratory pressure. There is social insecurity with non-competitive salaries in some sectors.
In relation to the war in Ukraine, she said that NATO should stay out of the conflict, and after the year of war should come the year of peace.
The President also said that the disputes with the European Commission over EU funds seem endless, like a soap opera. In this context, she also referred to the recent development that the EU is excluding Hungarian universities run by public trust foundations from the Erasmus+ and Horizon Europe programs. She said that Hungarian students and researchers deserve a chance for international cooperation.
She stressed that Hungarians have the potential to overcome the challenges. Hungary’s economy is strong, its politics are stable, and Hungarians are crisis-resistant.
Hungary has a strategic mindset and its people are hard-working, family-oriented, and proud to be both Hungarian and European,
the president said.
Katalin Novák stressed that Hungary treats its international partners with respect and pragmatism, and asks them to adopt the same attitude.
President Novák also said that for her, the family remains the most important thing and Hungary is a family-friendly country. In her speech, she greeted Poland’s Ambassador Sebastian Kęciek who attended the reception with his wife and three children.
She announced that the 5th Budapest Demographic Summit will be held in September. The event has been held every two years since 2015, with the participation of high-level international officials and experts.
After the President, Apostolic Nuncio Michael Wallace Banach also held a speech.
Featured photo via Facebook/Novák Katalin