Tibor Navracsics, outgoing Minister of Public Administration and Justice attended introductory hearings in front of three respective parliamentary committees this week regarding the topic of his candidacy for the role of Minister of Foreign in the currently establishing government.

On 3 June the Deputy Prime Minister told the Parliament’s foreign affairs committee that “no one can ever question that Hungary belongs to Europe” and that the last 25 years of Hungarian foreign policy was a success story. He explained that more concentrated efforts would be made in the future regarding external economy and in addition, cultural diplomacy would be a huge chance for becoming an effective tool in international relations. He added as well that the government would intend to give further support to this area.

In his closing remarks, he stressed the significance of the Central European region. As he said, the successes of the Visegrad Group (V4) showed that these countries were gradually realizing a sense of community. Navracsics’s candidacy was supported by the foreign affairs committee with 7 votes in favour, 3 against and 1 abstention.

On 4 June Tibor Navracsics pointed out in front of the European affairs committee that Hungary prioritises representing its national interests when dealing with the European Union. The Minister said that “only the member states which define their objectives in a clear way can succeed in the EU”. As he emphasized, Hungary should be aware of which countries it may cooperate with in specific issues, while adding that cooperation should be strengthened with other V4 partners as well as Croatia and Slovenia.
Tibor Navracsics stressed it further that “Hungary should face conflicts bravely. It should take care, however, to make sure that these conflicts do not become acrimonious”. As he said, the future of the European Union has always been a ground for debate, with options ranging from a United States of Europe to a Europe of Nations. The committee supported Navracsics’s nomination with 6 votes in favour, 1 against and 2 abstentions.

The same day Tibor Navracsics attended a meeting with the Parliament’s national cohesion committee as well, where his main thought was that “Hungarian foreign policy can only be successful, if the goals of the nation make up an integral part of it”. The Deputy PM said that Hungarian foreign policy could contribute to the aims of policies focused on Hungarian communities abroad and that foreign policy would support Hungarian cross-border economic life in areas inhabited by Hungarian communities over the border.

As he noted, it was important to clarify certain issues related to the past while this would solve current problems and assist the future of ethnic Hungarians. On the topic of current issues he added that regarding Hungary's naturalisation initiative, there are reassuring signs on the matter. Furthermore he said that “over the past 25 years in Hungary the policy for Hungarian communities beyond the border and foreign policy have been separated institutionally. There were good reasons for this, since in every area of policymaking the goals of the nation must be kept ever present so as to help the lives of Hungarians beyond the border and to protect their interests”.

(Ministry of Public Administration and Justice)