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Central European countries are the driving force behind EU economic growth

Three of the five fastest-growing economies in the European Union are part of the Central European Initiative.

Finance Minister Mihály Varga said after a meeting of the heads of government of the Central European Initiative (CEI) member states that, in addition to recovering from the epidemic, the leaders of the countries discussed EU enlargement policy, energy policy and migration challenges. 

It is in Hungary’s interest that the EU’s enlargement policy should continue and that the European Union should further expand towards the Western Balkans, the finance minister said.

Regarding the energy crisis in Europe, Varga stressed that Hungary’s energy supply is already secure and Hungarian families are protected from rising prices. The government is, however, open to any viable solution that can expand gas supply sources and transit routes at competitive prices. He also said that the development of interconnections between CEI member countries was key for the energy supply and development of the region. 

Hungary’s efforts to secure long-term energy supplies from reliable sources and at affordable prices have become even more important and justified. 

On the challenges of migration, Mihály Varga said that Hungary has taken a clear stance on the fight against illegal migration and border protection from the very beginning. Help must be brought to migrants’ countries of origin, and migration management is not the solution, he said, adding that uncontrolled illegal migration flows are a serious security, health, economic and cultural risk. 

The minister said Hungary had strengthened its border protection and had taken the initiative to request the European Union contribute more to the border protection costs of member states. It is a fair and just request that half of the border protection costs be reimbursed to the countries that protect the EU’s common borders, Varga added.

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