During her official visit to Hungary on 21-22 May 2012, Mrs Irena Degutienë, Speaker of the Seimas, discussed with Mr László Kövér, Speaker of the Hungarian National Assembly, the possibilities of smaller EU Member States to strengthen their role in EU institutions, the value-based foundations of European integration, and future prospects of EU development.
Photo by Juozas Ruzgys
Among other issues covered, the Head of the Hungarian National Assembly expressed his gratitude to Lithuania for its support expressed and actually provided to Hungary. “Lithuania supported Hungary in our defence of our sovereign rights in the EU. I thank you, and I ask you to communicate my thanks to the Lithuanian politicians and your people. Your support was expressed not only in words but also offered by concrete actions. Lithuania proved that it sought to ensure that words would not speak louder than actions and that Europe would not apply double standards,” Mr Kövér said.
In the opinion of the Hungarian Speaker, Europe is becoming merely an interest- instead of value-based union where different standards are often applied to small Member States in comparison to the large ones.
The Speaker of the Seimas also underlined that Europe is now suffering not only the economic and financial crises but also a value crisis. “We have to help Europe to regain its identity, because the financial troubles everyone is talking about are the result of the value crisis. Europe is severely ill, but no one dares to say that it needs treatment. If this continues, the value and financial crises will turn into a demographic crisis and the future of Europe will have to be painted in gloomier colours,” Mrs Degutienë said.
On the second day of her visit, the Speaker of the Seimas met with Mr Zsolt Semjén, Deputy Prime Minister of Hungary, who was filling in for the Prime Minister Mr Viktor Orbán who was taking part in the NATO Summit. The Speaker asked the Deputy Prime Minister to forward to Mr Orbán an invitation to pay a visit to Lithuania.
The Speaker of the Seimas also put forward an idea that the status of special partnership could be granted to the cooperation between Lithuania and Hungary which could be embodied by establishing a Lithuanian-Hungarian forum, youth exchange programmes, and other projects.
“Analysts, NGO and government representatives could participate in the bilateral forum. This is where wider discussions on energy security, transport, EU security or regional policy, and other issues could be held,” Mrs Degutienë said.
The Deputy Prime Minister of Hungary expressed his hope that if Mr Orbán, Prime Minister of Hungary, decides to pay a visit to Lithuania this autumn, it will be possible to discuss this issue not only in theory. The ideas of a special partnership, the establishment of the Lithuanian-Hungarian forum, and youth exchange programme had already been appreciated by H. E. President of Hungary Mr János Áder and the Prime Minister of Hungary in the previous meetings.
On 22 May 2012, the Speaker of the Seimas Mrs Irena Degutienë also visited the Museum of the House of Terror in Budapest and paid a tribute to the innocent victims killed. The Speaker of the Seimas reminded that the Hungarian and Polish Presidencies of the EU Council significantly contributed to the cause of commemorating all the victims of totalitarian regimes. “Lithuania supports the proposal of Hungary and Poland to mark the Day of the Victims of Totalitarian Regimes across Europe on the 23rd of August,” Mrs Degutienë said.
Juozas Ruzgys, Advisor to the Speaker of the Seimas, Tel. (+370 5) 239 602; 698 42073
Secretariat of the Speaker of the Seimas