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Hungary remains ‘committed supporter’ of EU enlargement

“Hungary will continue to do everything possible in the interests of EU enlargement,” Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said on Thursday in the Albanian capital Tirana, after meeting with Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, official government news website reported.

Szijjártó (left) with Albanian PM Edi Rama (photo: Mátyás Borsos)

The minister claimed that the approach of the European Commission and certain West European countries, as a result of which EU enlargement has stalled, is hypocritical and extremely damaging. He added that Hungary is a committed supporter of enlargement, noting that it is in the interests of both Europe and Hungary.

“The European Union’s enlargement policy is one of the EU’s most important policies,” he declared. “We would still like the EU’s Commissioner for Enlargement to be Hungarian, because that would be a better guarantee for the recommencement of EU enlargement.”

In his opening speech at a forum of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in Tirana, Szijjártó expressed regret that the EU has postponed further enlargement, as a result of which Albania and North Macedonia cannot yet become members of the EU.

“A larger EU is a stronger EU,” the minister asserted. “Hungary will continue to do everything possible in the interests of EU enlargement.” noted that following last week’s two-day EU summit, President of the European Council Donald Tusk announced that while the majority of Member States argued in favor of enlargement at the summit, there was no agreement with relation to the opening of accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania, and that the issue will be placed on the agenda once again in 2020.

Tusk said a decision on the issue of enlargement could be delivered prior to the EU-Western Balkans summit planned for May next year.