Hungary: Euro-Atlantic integration of Western Balkans essential

“The guarantee of stability in South East Europe is the successful Euro-Atlantic integration of the countries in the region,” Laszlo Kover said. | Youtube snapshot

Hungary is committed to the Euro-Atlantic integration of the Western Balkans, said a Hungarian Parliament official on Friday.

Addressing a conference of parliament speakers of the Western Balkans, Speaker of the Parliament Laszlo Kover said that "No white spots in the southeastern part of Europe can remain,” noting that “the enlargement should be a priority in the debate on the future of the European Union (EU)."

“If the EU is reluctant to fill the geopolitical void in the region, then somebody else will,” he cautioned.

Furthermore, he pointed out that "The development and stability of the region is considered as an essential security policy which is in the interest of Hungary.”

“The guarantee of stability in South East Europe is the successful Euro-Atlantic integration of the countries in the region,” he went on to say.

Kover underscored that Hungary was committed to the Euro-Atlantic integration of the Western Balkans, and supported the countries of the region with "concrete intellectual capital" as it shared its own experiences gained with the EU's accession.

Moreoever, Kover pointed out that the NATO enlargement was as much important as the EU enlargement, and that the integration of the Western Balkans to the NATO should also be accelerated.

According to a Strategy presented by the Spokesman of the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in November 2008, the new Hungarian External Relations Strategy assures the importance of “deepening co-operation among the countries of the Western Balkan region, their long-term stability, security, democracy, and their road to a market economy belong to the core of Hungarian national (geopolitical) interests. The Strategy underlines that “the most effective way to achieve this in the long-term is to secure the Euro-Atlantic integration of all of its countries.”

Hungary is also involved in regional cooperation for such as the Central European Initiative or the Regional Cooperation Council (successor of the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe).These institutions enable to tighten regional cooperation and to assist the Western Balkan countries in their preparations for membership in NATO and the EU.