“Hungarians broke the first stone out of the Berlin Wall”
Exactly 30 years ago, on 10 September 1989, the Hungarian Government opened its border to the West, thus enabling people from the GDR to flee. In his speech to open the German-Hungarian Forum, Heiko Maas paid tribute to this important milestone that led to the fall of the Berlin Wall:
Hungarians broke ‘the first stone out of the Berlin Wall’. The path to the happiest moment in our country’s history led through Hungary. People in Hungary, who were still fighting for freedom themselves, paved the path to liberty for refugees from the GDR.
Maas said this stone had become the cornerstone for Europe as we now know it – a peaceful and free Europe based on solidarity, where it is completely normal for young people to study and travel abroad and to discover new cities and make friends in other countries. This was a Europe, he said where “our countries decide policies together”.
A task for Europe as a community of shared values
The fact that the EU safeguards democracy, freedom, tolerance and human rights is not a matter of course, as becomes clear when one see the large number of crises and conflicts around the world. Mass underlined that these values need to be defended and constantly reaffirmed.
Youth Forum looks to the future with joint initiatives
The goal of the German-Hungarian Forum is to “explore ideas for the further development of German-Hungarian relations”. With a focus on young people from the two countries, the Forum brings together parliamentarians, entrepreneurs, academics and members of civil society. Among other things, the participants will play a strategy game based on the events of September 1989, draw up initiatives together for the new European Commission, and discuss flexibility in the modern workplace and compatibility between innovation and climate protection. The event was organised by the Federal Foreign Office, the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Andrássy Universität Budapest and the German-Hungarian Youth Office.