Hungary is a committed supporter of Georgia’s EU membership 

Hungary is a committed supporter of Georgia’s EU membership which also serves Europe’s best interests, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said at a press conference held on Thursday in Telavi, Georgia, following a joint meeting of the Hungarian and Georgian governments. 

The Hungarian Prime Minister recalled that the people of Georgia had for centuries fought for Christianity, adding that the Caucasian country had undergone fantastic development in recent years. 

Mr Orbán drew attention to the fact that the global security situation had never been worse in the past 30 years than at present. Now, two governments met whose historical experience is that peace is better than war, he pointed out. 

All international conflicts must be brought to a conclusion with peace within the shortest possible time; however, today, the world is very far from this, he stated, adding that Hungary and Georgia are setting an example in cooperation. 

By Mr Orbán’s account, Hungary supports granting Georgia EU member candidacy status because it believes this is only fair, while on the other hand because Europe needs fast-developing countries such as Georgia in order to maintain its competitiveness. 

In the mid-2000s, the EU’s competitiveness was saved by the accession of the Central European countries, and this, too, shows that if Europe fails to embrace people who want to work and develop, the EU will pay the price by losing its competitiveness, he recalled. 

The Hungarian Prime Minister added that connecting the EU to the Caucasian region was a European interest, and this was easiest to achieve with Georgia of all countries. 

“This is why we were so sad and angry when we saw that Georgia was not granted member candidate status, while it was granted to countries which are evidently far behind Georgia in terms of level of development,” he pointed out. 

Mr Orbán stressed that the EU must decide whether enlargement was a political process or one that was based on merits. If it is the latter, what happened is not fair to Georgia, their treatment must be urgently remedied, he said with reference to the need for granting the member candidacy status within the shortest possible time. 

The Hungarian Prime Minister also highlighted that Europe’s energy system cannot be modernised without Georgia; the construction of the Azerbaijan-Georgia-Romania-Hungary green corridor is vital for the EU. 

This project will for many long years result in economic growth for all participating countries, he observed. 

Mr Orbán also said that on Thursday bilateral agreements had been concluded in the areas of economic cooperation, agriculture, water management, the pharmaceutical industry and the financial sector. 

He mentioned as “a flagship programme” the fact that the Hungarian airline Wizzair is a market leader service provider in Georgia, and also recalled that every year Hungary provided 80 scholarship grants for Georgian students. 

He stressed that common Christian traditions constituted the deepest foundations for the friendship between Hungary and Georgia. 

The preservation of Christian traditions is also a condition of European competitiveness, and so we are happy when countries seek accession to the EU which openly stand for this heritage, Mr Orbán said.    

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili described the Thursday joint cabinet meeting as an event of historical importance in relations between the two countries, and thanked the Hungarian government for being a true friend of Georgia which supports the country’s territorial integrity and European integration. 

“Our countries share traditional and eternal values,” Mr Garibashvili statied, highlighting Mr Orbán’s contribution to the protection of these values. 

“The Hungarian people are lucky that in difficult times Hungary is led by such a strong and patriotic leader who only serves his people’s best interests,” he said, praising the Hungarian Prime Minister. 

Mr Garibashvili recalled that Georgia had done everything it could to accede to Europe, and in a number of areas it had made far more progress than some countries that had already been granted EU member candidate status. 

Mr Orbán called a spade a spade when he spoke about the unfair nature of the decision regarding his country’s EU candidacy, said the Georgian Prime Minister, stressing that it would be a reasonable step on the part of the EU to grant his country member candidate status. 


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