Macron Orbán Meeting: Hungarian Council Presidency Agenda

“Viktor Orbán told state media after the meeting that he had arrived in Paris [Wednesday, June 26] as part of the third leg of his European negotiation tour, after Berlin and Rome,” the Hungarian daily Népszava reported, recalling that “Hungary will hold the rotating presidency [of the Council of the EU] from July 1, 2024.” These are successive visits abroad for the head of government, intended to present the priorities of the Hungarian presidency to his counterparts.

“The meeting will be an opportunity to prepare for the European Council of June 27 and 28 on the renewal of European institutions and the priorities of the next strategic agenda of the European Union for the term of office,” the Elysée Palace also indicated in a press release on Tuesday June 25 [Les Echos].

Opposition on aid to Ukraine


Meeting for a working lunch, the two leaders discussed “support for Ukraine and the European defense industry, a particularly thorny subject given the positions held by Budapest since the beginning of the Russian invasion,” reports Euronews. Viktor Orbán is notably opposed to “the European policy of aid to Ukraine, [knowing that] Budapest has been blocking for months a check for more than 6 billion euros to support kyiv militarily,” recalls RTL.

For his part, Emmanuel Macron stressed during this discussion “the challenge of supporting Ukraine” [Les Echos]. According to Le Monde, “Hungary [advocates] the strengthening of the European defense industry and claims to share with France the objective of strategic autonomy. But [more generally] on the war in Ukraine, its positions go against those of the majority of Member States.”

The discussions between Emmanuel Macron and Viktor Orbán also focused on “the allocation of key posts in Brussels, while the reappointment of Ursula von der Leyen as head of the European Commission is becoming more and more concrete,” reports Euronews.

The Hungarian Prime Minister is opposed to “the way in which the top posts in the European Union are allocated, excluding according to him certain Member States because of the political affiliations of their leaders,” notes the television channel. “The highest officials of the EU should represent all Member States, and not just the leftists and liberals,” the Hungarian leader had indignantly declared on his X account on Tuesday, June 25, while certain names for the “top jobs” were confirmed [Les Echos].

An opinion that he shares with his European ally, the Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. “The two radical right-wing and nationalist leaders aim to weigh in on the ongoing negotiations for key positions in the European institutions [which] will be discussed […] at [the] European Council,” which opens this Thursday [L’Opinion].

Emmanuel Macron and Viktor Orbán nevertheless found common ground on another subject discussed yesterday. Paris has given its support to the “strengthening of the European economy” included in the program of the future presidency of the EU Council, the Hungarian Prime Minister declared after his meeting with the French President, reports Népszava.

Paris is not the only capital that Viktor Orbán has visited in recent days. But this “European tour of the Hungarian Prime Minister is taking place in a tense atmosphere. Viktor Orbán recently criticized Germany’s migration policy,” during his meeting with Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin on Friday, June 21, Euronews reports.

This article is originally published on touteleurope.eu

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