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German-Hungarian Forum, 16th Annual Conference

The 16th Annual Conference of the German-Hungarian Forum took place on 10 November 2006 at the Delegation of Brandenburg to the Feder­ation in Berlin. The discussion focused on the need for reform and a better capacity to act for the enlarged Union.

Steps Toward the Further Integration of Europe — Impetus from Germany and Hungary

More than 200 experts from politics, business, academia and the media toke part in this bilateral dialogue.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Stein­meier and his Hungarian counterpart Kinga Göncz used this occasion to affirm the joint engagement of German and Hungary for the adoption of the European Consti­tu­tional Treaty.

Stein­meier empha­sised the necessity of an econom­i­cally dynamic Europe that will become more efficient inter­nally and exter­nally. He called the EU a success story that has guaranteed peace and well-being over a long period of time. Still, Europe has today lost many of its citizens to the camp of the sceptics. The recipe for this, however, is not less Europe, but more Europe. Of course, the EU should not overwhelm itself with the speed of future enlarge­ments as long as the necessary insti­tu­tional reforms are unable to keep pace.

Hungarian Foreign Minister Kinga Göncz under­lined the fact that Hungary is a reliable proponent and partner in the question of the European Consti­tu­tional Treaty. She expects concrete progress for the internal reform process of the EU during the German Council Presi­dency and indicated at the same time that reforms will only become more painful, the later they are seriously confronted.

Branden­burg’s Minister President Matthias Platzeck gave emphasis in his welcome address to the common goal of deepening European integration. Only by doing this can Europe continue to exist in an environment of global compe­tition with other conti­nents. Europe must do more to show its face and must thus implement the Consti­tu­tional Treaty.