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24th annual conference of the German-Hungarian Forum and fourth conference of the Young German-Hungarian Forum

Elmar Brok at the German-Hungarian Forum

On 18 and 19 September 2014, the 24th annual conference of the German-Hungarian Forum was held in the repre­sen­tation of the Magyar Telekom Nyrt. in Budapest and was attended by over 250 experts from politics, business, academia and civil society. In panel discus­sions and working groups, the partic­i­pants, including the MEPs Elmar Brok and Joszéf Szájer as well as Martin Kotthaus and László Szabó as repre­sen­ta­tives of the German and Hungarian discussed bilateral issues as well as the present state of the EU and prospects for its future from a German and Hungarian perspective. The EU´s common foreign and security policy and in particular, the Ukrainian crisis, were featured heavily in the panel discussions.

The working groups focused in particular on the topics “Social and economic cohesion: relevance, instru­ments, financing” and “Democ­ratic partic­i­pation and civil society: The Variety of the German-Hungarian relationship presented by projects and best practices in culture, economy and town twinning”. In conjunction with the working groups, the fourth Young German-Hungarian Forum dealt with different German and Hungarian concepts of Europe and the expec­ta­tions of young Europeans towards their home countries and the EU.

The concluding panel of the two-day event, “The Closing Address”, was held by Zoltán Balog, Hungarian minister of Human Ressources, who stressed the impor­tance of mutual under­standing in the bilateral relations of Germany and Hungary. In the end he thanked the German Embassy in Budapest for its poster campaign “Thank you Hungary!”, which commem­o­rated the 25th anniversary of the opening of the Hungarian border and the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Programme and Conference Report