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EU stronger than at start of Hungarian presidency

Europe is currently stronger than six months ago at the start of Hungary's EU presidency but news on the eurozone and the Greek crisis may make it seem less obvious for voters, Prime Minister Viktor Orban told a plenary meeting in the European Parliament on Tuesday.

Created: 5th July, 2011 15:28 | Last updated: 5th July, 2011 15:30

In his assessment of the achievements of the Hungarian presidency which ended on June 30, Orban said the EU could not appear as a strong community until a solution for the Greek crisis was found. Hungary's EU presidency has successfully achieved its targets and contributed to strengthening the EU, Orban said. During the presidency, the EU quickly and efficiently reacted to such challenges as the euro-zone crisis, the Japanese nuclear disaster or developments in Northern Africa, he added.
Europe is now in possession of the means to prevent future crises. A six-piece legislation on economic governance is almost complete, Orban said. Commenting on the framework strategy for Roma inclusion, Orban said the Roma community represents extra resources, not only challenges. Through them, millions of European citizens could be included in the labour market, he added. Commenting on the successful completion of accession talks with Croatia, he said he had submitted a memorandum to President of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek explaining that the EU should continue expansion in the Western Balkans and more efforts are needed to help other countries in the region to join.
The European Parliament on Tuesday adopted a resolution initiated by the Socialist, liberal and green groups on Hungary's new constitution reflecting concerns raised by the Council of Europe's Venice Commission. The resolution criticises the way the constitution was approved and several of its components. Orban said before the vote that regardless of what resolution is approved, "this would not influence the Hungarian MP's work at all." The constitution is under European protection and every nation has a right to have its own basic law, he added. Hungary's new constitution is a modern European supreme law which focuses on life, family, the nation, and human dignity, and "we are therefore proud of it," Orban said.