Meeting of the European Affairs Committees of the Parliaments of V4 countries in Košice on 24-26 April 2022
A meeting of the European Affairs Committees of the Parliaments of V4 countries took place in Košice on 24-26 April 2022, organised by the Slovak National Council. The event was hosted by Vladimira Marcinková, the Chair of the Slovak Committee and attended by representatives from the relevant committees of all V4 parliamentary chambers, except from the Polish Senate. The Hungarian National Assembly was represented by dr. Richárd Hörcsik, Chairman and Zoltán Tessely, Deputy Chairman of the Committee on European Affairs. Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, Chairwoman of the European Integration Committee of the Parliament of Ukraine, also joined part of the event online, thanking all countries for the help they have provided to Ukraine so far and asking for further assistance to help them fight and survive.
The two main topics on the agenda were the situation in Ukraine and the migration, as well as the energy security. The first item was introduced by Martin Klus, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, who stressed that Ukraine is a European friend and should therefore be given a European perspective. He was of the view that Ukraine and Moldova should be included in the common European projects of V4 countries (e.g. roaming, Erasmus or the EU’s internal market). During the discussion, dr. Richárd Hörcsik stressed that Hungary supports Ukraine's candidacy for EU membership and recalled that Hungary was among the first countries to ratify the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. On the enlargement of the EU, he referred to the phenomenon of enlargement fatigue, as there has been hardly any progress since the last enlargement. In his view, the Russia-Ukraine war also highlighted the need to speed up the process in the Western Balkans, and particularly for Serbia, which is doing well in terms of preparation. On the war, he stressed that Hungary strongly condemns Russia's attack on Ukraine and stands by Ukraine's sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability. He added that Hungary welcomes the unity of NATO and the EU and supports sanctions. In his contribution, Zoltán Tessely explained that so far 625 000 refugees have come to Hungary and 17 000 asylum applications and over 100 000 temporary asylum applications have been submitted. He emphasised that Hungary supports peace, but we wish to stay out of war, and we hope that there will be no solidarity fatigue in the EU and we will be able to help those in need.
During the discussion of the second agenda item, Karol Galek, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Economy of the Slovak Republic, presented the issue of energy security mainly using examples from Slovakia, but also from the perspective of V4 countries. In his contribution, dr. Richárd Hörcsik called for a calm approach and referred to the informal meeting of EU leaders in Versailles on 10-11 March 2022, where they discussed how to ensure the security of energy supplies in light of the situation in Ukraine. He pointed out that for Hungary, energy supply is a matter of security, sovereignty and economy and not a political issue. Zoltán Tessely explained that, according to recent statistics published by Eurostat, natural gas accounts for 34% of the national energy mix in Hungary. Most of natural gas comes from imports, amounting to 67% in 2021. It is, however, a positive trend that Hungary's dependency on natural gas imports decreased by 9% in 2021 relative to the previous year.
In conclusion of the event, the delegations expressed their views on the topics discussed at the event in a jointly adopted final document.
At the end of the meeting, dr. Richárd Hörcsik noted that the next meeting would take place in Hungary in the autumn of 2022, also with pe