Germany is an important ally and strategic partner of Hungary, and the multifaceted network of relations established over the past decades links national economies, municipalities, the cultural, educational and scientific spheres, and friendly communities, said the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Péter Szijjártó in Budapest on Tuesday.
The statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, at the occasion of the German Unity Day, described the reunification of Germany as a fateful event that fundamentally changed the course of history in Europe. In his speech, he referred to certain 20th century’s historical facts, when “families and friends were separated, German from German, Hungarian from Hungarian, and even Hungary from Europe,” he said. “During the decades of the Cold War we learned that there is nothing good for us in a blockaded world. This experience is still valid today,” he underlined.
Szijjártó said that the two countries had seized the opportunity of freedom that came with the fall of the Iron Curtain, and had been able to develop rich and diverse cooperation in recent decades. “Despite certain disagreement, the crises have reinforced the need for interdependence between the parties,” he pointed out. He also added that “we need to work together as closely as possible to achieve strategic goals such as improving European competitiveness, cooperation on innovation, defense, and international development, while promoting the integration of the Western Balkans.”
Furthermore, the minister underlined that Germany is Hungary’s most important economic partner, as demonstrated by the fact that bilateral trade turnover reached a record high of almost EUR 70 billion last year, and is expected to reach another record high this year. German companies are now the number one investor community in Hungary, providing jobs for some 300,000 people. 187 German companies have received government support for their investments in the last nine years.
These companies pay the lowest taxes in Europe and can operate in the security provided by the most stable political system in Europe,”
Finally, Szijjártó described the German-speaking community in Hungary as a strong link, growing year by year and its identity is strengthening. He also noted that in the last thirty years, nearly 400 twinning contacts and hundreds of school partnerships have been established. By calling Andrássy University the “flagship of educational cooperation,” the only German-language higher education institution outside the German-speaking area, which will make it possible to study in German from nursery school to PhD level in Hungary, a unique opportunity in Europe.
The success of the Pan-European Picnic, the opening of the borders, and the German reunification became a symbol of the freedom movements.
It showed that people’s desire for freedom cannot be suppressed. This gives us a stronger basis than ever to continue together on the path of freedom and cooperation to make Europe strong and successful,” he concluded.