Hungarian Presidency to Focus on EU Integration with 'Human Face' - Ambassador

Politics » BULGARIA IN EU | January 10, 2011, Monday // 16:06
Bulgaria: Hungarian Presidency to Focus on EU Integration with 'Human Face' - Ambassador (R-L) the Ambassador of Belgium to Bulgaria Marc Michielsen, Hungarian Ambassador Judit Lang, and the Charg? d'Affaires a.i of Spain in Bulgaria Luis C?novas del Castillo Mun?z. Photo by M3 Communications

Hungarian EU Presidency is going to focus on the human factor in EU integration, Hungary's Ambassador to Bulgaria Judit Lang stated in Sofia at the presentation of the Presidency priorities.

Her excellency emphasized both the motto of the Hungarian EU Presidency, "Strong Europe", and the importance of concentrating on protecting the interests of the EU citizens, or what she described as "the human face of European integration."

"Hungary is presiding the European Union as the last member of the trio with Spain and Belgium and our priorities will be based on their achieved results. The main aimes of our Presidency is the contribution to the building of a stronger Europe – economically, socially and politically – and reaching agreement for the joining of Bulgaria and Romania to Schengen Area", Ambassador Lang said during the special news conference that she held together with representatives of the other two members of the "Presidency Trio" – the Ambassador of Belgium in Bulgaria H.E. Marc Michielsen and the Charg? d'Affaires a.i of Spain in Bulgaria, Mr. Luis C?novas del Castillo Mun?z.

"In addition to dealing with the innovations and the Schengen issue, in the first half of 2011 Europe should concentrate on the economy stabilizing and the founding of working places" – explained H.E. Lang in front of media. "Besides these two factors, the 6-month program of the Hungarian Presidency is made in accordance with the common 18-month program, elaborated together with our Spanish and Belgian partners from the trio and approved by the European Council", she added.

Lang explained that the Hungarian EU Presidency will unite four main priority areas, based on the human factor.

The first one is related to economic growth, stability, competitiveness and social inclusion by effectively implementing the Europe 2020 Strategy and concentrating on job creation.

A special goal of the Hungarian Presidency is to have the EU Framework on National Roma Integration Strategies endorsed and to provide new momentum for addressing the so called Roma issue on the European level.

Her Excellency has pointed out that the second round of questions greatly affects Bulgaria. These are the topics for achieving a stronger Europe, which incorporate issues in the field of energy, the common agricultural policy, the Danube Region Strategy and the Common Agricultural Policy.

With respect to EU enlargement, Hungary will be focusing on completing the negotiation process with Croatia and further development of the EU enlargement process. Among the priorities are the implemention of the Stockholm Program and the enlargement of Schengen zone as well.

Bulgaria's accession to the Schengen area has been mentioned by Lang as one of the main priorities of the Hungarian Presidency based on Budapest's experience and support for the implementation of the criteria by Bulgaria. That is why the Hungarian Presidency has pledged it will do its best to reach political consensus among the member states on joining Bulgaria and Romania the Schengen area.

In Sofia, the EU Presidency of Hungary is organizing a number of events to present the country's cultural values.

In February, a Gala concert of the New Symphony Orchestra is expected, under the baton of Hungarian orchestra conductor. Also, a big attraction will be the visit of the 100-member Hungarian gypsy orchestra in April, which is a band with a worldwide reputation expected to win the sympathy of the Bulgarian audience. In addition, a week of the Hungarian cuisine is planned, along with many other cultural events.

Ambassador Lang noted that the two most important events of the Hungarian EU Presidency will be the EU Council Summit in February and an EU summit on the Eastern Partnership in May.

She has pointed out that a broader goal is to put Europe at the service of citizens while the European policies are approved, placing the human being in the center.

Belgian Ambassador to Bulgaria Marc Michielsen has summarized the six highlights of Belgium’s EU Presidency in the second half of 2010 as follows: economic and financial stability – with the introduction of EU financial supervision bodies; socio-economic aspects – the EU employment strategy and the EU 2020 Strategy; home affairs – the launch of the Stockholm Program, the system for asylum-seekers and the directive for long-term residence; environment – Michielsen pointed out that with the holding of the Cancun summit in Mexico “the glass is three-quarters full” marking certain progress; enlargement – granting candidate status to Montenegro; implementation of the Lisbon Treaty – the establishment of the European External Action Service.

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Tags: Judit Lang, Hungarian Ambassador, Hungary, Hungarian EU Presidency, EU presidency, Spain, Belgium, Marc Michielsen, Ambassadors

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