Hungary was the president of the council in the European Union for the last 6 months - a quite small country led one of the biggest and most prestigious international corporation for a short while. Like every story, this presidency reached highs and lows as well.
Let’s see the highlights first:
- Green light for Croatia: we have a long common history, and now - as an example for our great friendship - the EU finalized their Treaty of Accession during the hungarian presidency. Cool!
- Reaction on the North-African conflicts (Morocco, Egypt, Libya): maybe this was the first time when the EU reacted as one, united community to an international challenge. Although still not as strong as the USA, China or Russia..
- Walkthrough for the economic crisis: Hungary’s economy wasn’t in a good shape since 2007-2008 but we were able to keep a good balance (at the moment) while Greece or Portugal not. Hope the EU will learn from this..
- The “Gypsy-problem”: finally the EU accepted a project which can help the Community to handle the “stepchild” of the EU minority politics. Long awaited and hopefully it can help..
- Cooperation: The new trio presidency system worked well once again (Spain-Belgium-Hungary) as well as the cooperation with the next president country Poland.
There were some low-lights as well:
- National politics in the European Parliament: Somehow the “we are upon the nations” philosophy not always won in this semester, especially the Viktor Orbán vs. Daniel Cohn-Bendit “fights” in the Parliament were memorable, where the EP had more likeness to a circus than a serious decision-maker body.
- Left vs. Right: the most interesting question about the EP is “are national interests above than political interests?” The answer is NO! Especially when Hungarians are on board. Luckily the Council Chamber in Strasbourg differs from the Hungarian in look, so I was able to recognize where from the current footage come. Otherwise I saw no difference
- Future of the EU: with the current rules, we must wait at least 13,5 years for the next presidency - and no experts can say anything sure about the Community’s shape in 2024. Or in 2014. EU-skeptics have a good time, that’s sure..
And what can I say for the last sentence? Never worse propaganda for Hungary… :)
After reading Bloomberg’s reflection on the new policy of the government, we must make a few things clear:
- Yes, the hungarian politicians are often the same crazy as the argentinian colleagues. Maybe our temperament makes it..
- Nobody can do these kind of things with a big smile on their face, neither György Matolcsy, this was only the B or C-plan from the government…
- Long term plans aren’t cool nowadays (hungarian source)
- Filling the holes in the budget will be good for everybody, not just the (former) private pension members
- And personally I don’t think that anybody - include EU or IMF - can promise that pension founds (private or national) will work in 2050 for example…
- Plus no real opposition for the government in the parliament, just 3 confused party - no other options
As Hungary will be next EU president (2011 January-June) it would be a little “uncomfortable” for the world to see the next Ireland on a leading position.. good PR is expensive mates!