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Staff of 700 to work for Hungarian EU presidency

Hungary will employ a staff of 700 to work under the Hungarian EU presidency in the first half of 2011, mainly civil servants already dealing with EU affairs, the Foreign Ministry told MTI.

Spain, Belgium and Hungary are holding the EU presidency as a trio from early 2010 to mid-2011, with Hungary taking over the presidency on January 1, 2011.

Hungary will host about 15 informal ministerial meetings during its six-month term. The number of prime ministerial summits to be held here is still subject to discussion and coordination, the ministry said.

The trio has worked out a joint program, setting priorities for all three presidencies, such as promoting efforts to find an exit from the economic crisis and fighting unemployment effectively.

The trio lays emphasis on the sustainable use of natural resources. Within that, Hungary has a vested interest in the development of an integrated European water management policy. The EU's new Danube strategy is expected to be launched during Hungary's term, the ministry said.

The Hungarian EU presidency will support the EU's enlargement policy and help Croatia's EU accession reach its final phase. The second summit of Eastern Partnership will be held during Hungary's term.

Hungary seeks to pay keen attention to the entry of Romania and Bulgaria to the Schengen zone, scheduled for March 2011.

Reference to cultural diversity as a “unique resource” and strengthening regionalism were added to the trio's program on a Hungarian initiative, the ministry said. (MTI – Econews)