Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said that more dynamic cross-border cooperation will help the economy to restart quickly.
Szijjártó reported that he had consulted with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Croatia Gordan Grlic-Radman and the Minister for Regional Development and EU Funds Natasa Tramisak on important issues important for the life of border communities.
He stressed that the opportunities for cooperation can be better exploited if the connections between the two countries are tighter. That is why they have decided to take the development of the infrastructure for this purpose to a higher level, he said.
There are currently seven crossings at the border, with an average distance of 50 kilometers between them, while in Western Europe, this distance is only 2–4 kilometers. Under such conditions, it is impossible to take full advantage of the benefits of the neighborhood, Szijjártó underlined.
The minister stressed that the M6 highway will be extended to the border, while Croatia will also carry out some road developments and the two highways will be connected at Ivándárda.
The construction of the bridge between Murakeresztúr and Kotori on Murá also continues. The two countries have jointly applied for and won EU funding for the planning. In addition, a new crossing will be opened between Sárok and Főherceglak (Knezevo) and Zákány and Gotalovo, shortening the detours for locals by a few kilometers.
Regarding the economy, the volume of Hungarian-Croatian trade increased by 13 percent in the first half of this year, Szijjártó pointed out.
Finally, he emphasized that Hungary and Croatia expect a significant increase in migratory pressure due to the situation in Afghanistan. The two governments are taking a clear position on this issue. “We do not want to see illegal immigrants in this part of Europe, we are defending our borders and we reserve the right to decide who we will allow into our countries and with whom we are willing to live,” the minister stated.
Péter Szijjártó said that within two weeks, the parties will continue their talks in Osijek, when they will discuss more efficient use of EU funds for cross-border cooperation.