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Hungarian PM about domestic reform and European challenges

Stanhope Hotel, Brussels, 21.06.2007

Monday 25 June 2007

Despite all the turbulence around the EU summit today in Brussels, Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány found some time to join a policy briefing organised by the European Policy Centre (EPC).

In a presentation on the status of Hungary and its position within the European Union Mr. Gyurcsány explained that ’learning democracy’ is not an easy process. Disappointment can be felt within the country and like in the entire region there exists a certain ’lack of historical confidence’ in that it is hard to digest historical traumas in a democratic environment, mentioning Poland as another example.

When Mr. Gyurcsány spoke about the very difficult reform of public services briefly, Bert Van Caelenberg used the opportunity to ask his opinion on the recent vote in favour of postal liberalisation in the TRAN committee of the European Parliament. Mr. Gyurcsány explained that countries and companies prepare themselves for liberalisation in very different ways. This autumn the long process of adaptation will start, also in Hungary. Afterwards the Prime Minister agreed with Bert Van Caelenberg that a meeting between Eurofedop and Magyar Posta should be arranged.

After the policy briefing the Prime Minister went to the summit where he continued the debate on a treaty for Europe, with his 26 fellow heads of state. According to Mr. Gyurcsány, a new treaty is necessary to jointly address the major European challenges.

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