The new Hungarian government seeks to expand, in a geographic sense, its Central European policy in all directions, Foreign Minister János Martonyi said during his visit to Vienna on July 13, 2010. The head of Hungarian diplomacy travelled to Austria at the invitation of his Austrian counterpart, Michael Spindelegger. He was received on a courtesy visit also by the Federal President, Heinz Fischer.
At a press conference held jointly by Mr Martonyi and Mr Spindelegger after their talks in Vienna, Mr Martonyi emphasised the constructive spirit and friendship experienced on this occasion, too, on the part of Austria. He said that the two sides will examine the possibilities for setting up additional joint representations to serve the interest of cost efficiency and enhanced cooperation.
Speaking of the Danube Strategy, the minister reaffirmed that Hungary would like the Community to adopt this comprehensive development programme during Hungary’s EU presidency next year.
With regard to the Western Balkans, he said that Hungary and Austria would both like to see the region’s republics fully integrated in due course into the European alliance.
Touching on the disputes between Hungary and Austria, he emphasized that they do not affect the fundamental relationship. On the other hand, it would be important, for example as regards the planned incinerator in Heiligenkreuz, for the Austrian government to make it appreciated that the facility does not really serve local and other interests. Mr Spindelegger added that they understand Hungary’s concerns and that the environmental aspects will certainly have to be taken into consideration
Regarding dual citizenship, Mr Martonyi reaffirmed that Hungary would not be granting citizenship en masse, but would simply make it possible for anyone to apply for citizenship on an individual basis if they comply with the criteria. He added that the new regulation removed a discriminatory element from Hungary’s legal system, which up to now allowed any Hungarian abroad to receive citizenship relatively easily, except those living in one of the neighbouring countries.
The Hungarian foreign minister said that Hungary wishes to engage in a comprehensive dialogue with the new Slovak leadership on all contentious issues.
Mr Martonyi then expressed his thanks for having been asked to be the foreign lecturer at the Austrian ambassadorial conference this year. He especially emphasised that next year, for the first time, the two countries would be holding a joint conference of ambassadors. He judged that the forthcoming event underscores the fact that both states are prominent representatives of the Central European ethos.
In the afternoon the Hungarian foreign minister gave a lecture at an event jointly organised by the Austrian Diplomatic Academy, the Foreign Policy and United Nations Association of Austria (UNA-AUSTRIA), and the Hungarian Embassy in Vienna. At the conference János Martonyi said, “The new Hungarian government seeks to expand, in a geographic sense, its Central European policy in all directions.” He noted that Central Europe had always played an important part in Hungarian foreign policy over the past twenty years. The new government now wants to add further dimensions to it. He emphasised that alongside geographic expansion, European Union membership is also a decisive factor: all Central European cooperation must be in line with European Union policies. “The Hungarian presidency of the European Union and the Danube strategy being developed offer new opportunities,” he said, adding that these could be achieved by giving a new impetus to the Visegrad Four grouping to the north, and intensifying relations with the Balkan countries.
At a courtesy visit paid to President Heinz Fischer, the Hungarian foreign minister congratulated President Fischer on taking up his second presidential term recently. Mr Martonyi briefed the Austrian president regarding the economic and political situation in Hungary and the Hungarian government’s economic action plan.