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On Monday, Viktor Orbán held talks with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni in Rome. At a joint press conference following the meeting, the Italian prime minister welcomed the program of the upcoming Hungarian presidency of the European Council, and they announced a new area of cooperation between the two countries.

Mr Orbán said that Europe’s biggest problem at the moment is the decline in competitiveness, and that the government therefore aims to establish a competitiveness pact during Hungary’s presidency of the Council of the European Union. He warned that if no European competitiveness pact is concluded, hundreds of thousands of jobs will be lost in the next decade.

“It is in the interest of both Italians and Hungarians that the European economy should be successful and competitive,” the Hungarian prime minister said. He also noted that it was in the common interest that Europe should not isolate itself from economic partners outside Europe, that European industry should be strong and that the green transition should not be achieved against European industry but in cooperation with it.

The Hungarian prime minister noted that Italian-Hungarian cooperation would be extended to energy. He announced that

there would be a Slovenian gas pipeline section, thus connecting Italy and Hungary, and that Italian LNG terminals would provide Hungary with a significant source of diversification compared with its eastern supply.

While there is likely to be tension between the two prime ministers, with Giorgia Meloni agreeing the anti-Hungarian AUR (Alliance for the Union of Romanians) join the ECR (European Conservatives and Reformists) in the European Parliament and rejecting the Hungarian party Fidesz for its stance on Ukraine, the Hungarian prime minister said that “party issues” were not discussed at the current meeting, as the topic was closed in Brussels last Monday. Viktor Orbán, who is also president of Fidesz, added at yesterday’s press conference that he had made it clear that they would not be in a party alliance with an “anti-Hungarian” Romanian party.

There is nothing to negotiate about, we cannot sit in such a faction,”

he confirmed.

At the same time, he indicated that they had agreed with Giorgia Meloni last Monday that they were all committed to advancing cooperation between the European conservative parties, even if they were not in the same group.

Giorgia Meloni told a press conference on Monday that Rome supports the priorities of Budapest’s EU presidency program, such as the challenge of demographic decline, increasing competitiveness and strengthening European defense. She agreed with Viktor Orbán on the need to strengthen the “new European attitude” that has emerged recently on the protection of the EU’s borders, the fight against illegal migration and cooperation with African countries. She stressed that Europe is on the verge of implementing the Pact on Migration and Asylum and

we agree with Viktor that it is important to continue the debate in European circles on other innovative solutions for asylum procedures.”

Photo: MTI/Miniszterelnöki Sajtóiroda/Fischer Zoltán

Listing the priorities of the Hungarian presidency of the European Council, starting on July 1, Giorgia Meloni highlighted the challenge of demographic decline. She said that demographic change was “a prerequisite for a strong Europe that wants to play a leading role in the world.” She noted that no European nation can provide the birth rate to ensure population continuity.

“If we do not rise to this challenge and reverse this trend, our economic, social and welfare systems will become unsustainable in the medium and long term,” the Italian prime minister stresses. She said that the Italian and Hungarian sides should work together to raise awareness of the demographic issue in the EU: “I am sure that we will have more and more allies who will stand by us.” She concluded by wishing Viktor Orbán every success for the Hungarian presidency.

"Make Europe great again" - the Priorities of the Hungarian EU Presidency

The logo of the presidency is based on the Rubik's cube, a Hungarian and an internationally renowned invention.Continue reading

Via MTI, Featured image: MTI/Miniszterelnöki Sajtóiroda/Fischer Zoltán

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