As Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Péter Szijjártó, said in Budapest on Tuesday, Germany and Hungary are allies and strategic partners, with the multifaceted network of relations established over the past decades linking national economies, municipalities, the cultural, educational and scientific spheres and communities.
The reunification of Germany was described by the statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade at the occasion of the German Unity Day as a fateful event that fundamentally changed the course of history in Europe. Certain 20th century’s historical facts, when “families and friends were separated, German from German, Hungarian from Hungarian, and even Hungary from Europe,” were referred to in his speech. The minister underlined that during the decades of the Cold War they learned that there was nothing good for them in a blockaded world.
According to Szijjártó, 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. He pointed out that, despite certain disagreement, the crises have reinforced the need for interdependence between the parties. He also added that it was necessary 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.
Moreover, the fact that bilateral trade turnover between Germany and Hungary reached a record high of almost EUR 70 billion last year, and is expected to reach another record high this year, demonstrated that Germany is Hungary’s most important economic partner. Jobs for some 300,000 people are now provided by German companies, that makes Germany the number one investor community in Hungary. Government support for their investments has been received by 187 German companies in the last nine years. They pay the lowest taxes in Europe and can operate in the security provided by the most stable political system in Europe.
In conclusion, the German-speaking community in Hungary was described by Szijjártó as a strong link, growing year by year and strengthening its identity. For example, nearly 400 twinning contacts and hundreds of school partnerships have been established in the last thirty years. A unique opportunity in Europe to study in German from nursery school to PhD level in Hungary will be provided by Andrássy University, the “flagship of educational cooperation,” the only German-language higher education institution outside the German-speaking area.
The freedom movement is symbolized by the success of the Pan-European Picnic, the opening of the borders and the German reunification.
Impossibility to suppress people’s desire for freedom was shown and a stronger basis than ever to continue together on the path of freedom and cooperation to make Europe strong and successful was created by that.