25 May 2021  Participants of the meeting

25 May 2021 Participants of the meeting

Tuesday, 25 May 2021

Serbia-Hungary Relations Best Ever – Head of PFG with Hungary and Hungarian Ambassador to Serbia Conclude

The Head of the Parliamentary Friendship Group with Hungary Predrag Rajic and the PFG members met today at the National Assembly with Hungarian Ambassador to Serbia H.E. Attila Pinter to discuss the historically good relations between the two countries, with no outstanding issues.

The Head of the PFG with Hungary Predrag Rajic pointed out that the Serbs and Hungarians, two seemingly completely different peoples, actually had a similar destiny throughout history - were the targets of invaders to whom they offered strong resistance. The disagreements during the 19th and 20th centuries stemmed from the fact that the interests of the great powers, whom we considered our allies, did not coincide, said Rajic

The situation has changed significantly in recent years, primarily thanks to the leaders of the two countries, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, he said adding that Serbia and Hungary now enjoy excellent political and economic cooperation at the highest level. Successful economic cooperation is best reflected in the joint IPA cross-border cooperation projects, said the Head of the PFG with Hungary.

Rajic went on to say that our two countries have no outstanding issues, and that despite the fact that Hungary unilaterally recognised the independence of the so-called the state of Kosovo, it abstains from voting for the admission of so-called Kosovo into international organisations, thus supporting the Serbia’s legitimate interests.

Stressing that EU membership is Serbia's foreign policy priority, he added that today Hungary is our best advocate in the EU, one that does not condition Serbia for the membership.

Hungarian Ambassador to Serbia Attila Pinter agreed that the relations between the two countries are at an all-time historical high, with no outstanding issues, which opens up space for the development of cooperation in the fields of economy, culture, education and sports. Economy is of great importance in our relations, said the Ambassador, adding that during the previous year, at the time of the coronavirus pandemic, Hungary experienced growth in trade only with Serbia - 3.7%. In recent years, not only large Hungarian companies, but small and medium-sized companies as well, have been investing in Serbia, said Pinter pointing out that they have 160 million EUR in support from the Hungarian Government. Hungary's total investments in Serbia in the previous year amounted to 500 million EUR, stressed the Ambassador.

Speaking of cooperation in the field of education, Attila Pinter said that, that every year, the Hungarian Government provides scholarships for 45 students from Serbia and that there is always a significant interest of young people to study in Hungary.

The officials also agreed that Serbia and Hungary are the champions of Europe in terms of COVID vaccination, which should allow for an exchange of visits between delegations of the two parliaments’ friendship groups soon.

The meeting was attended by 52 members of the PFG with Hungary, who showed significant interest in furthering cooperation between the two countries and their parliamentarians. Predrag Rajic pointed out that the 85-member PFG with Hungary is among the top ten parliamentary friendship groups in the National Assembly.

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