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Twenty‑fifth anniversary of the friendship treaty between Germany and Hungary: Joint Statement by the Foreign Ministers

06.02.2017 - Press release

Joint Statement by Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel and Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó (6 February 2017):

“Twenty‑five years ago to the day, the government representatives of the Federal Republic of Germany and Hungary signed the Agreement on Friendly Cooperation and Partnership in Europe in Budapest. It was a natural progression following an unprecedented peaceful revolution which began with courageous steps such as the opening of the border between Hungary and Austria for citizens of the GDR in 1989, thus taking the first stone out of the Berlin Wall and paving the way for the unification of Germany and Europe. To this day, the Agreement forms the cornerstone of our bilateral relations. Germany and Hungary are now close partners in the European Union and in NATO. The goals and obligations formulated at the time have retained their validity.

We reaffirm that back then and today we attach the utmost importance to the goal of European unity on the basis of human rights, fundamental freedoms, democracy and the rule of law and that we will continue to do all we can to further the cohesion of a European Union in which borders are overcome and we strengthen what we share. Our common goal is to guarantee prosperity, security and cohesion in Europe, to protect minorities and to bolster competitiveness and economic growth . This united Europe that also includes the internal market is the basis for our future.

We share responsibility for the European unification project, which is currently facing many threats, as well as for defending the fundamental values anchored therein. We are engaged in an intensive, broad-based and – where necessary – critical dialogue in which our parliaments, governments as well as the Länder and regions all take part. But also apart from official contacts, there is a broad network of civil society and interpersonal connections which breathe life into our bilateral relations. One prime example is the only German‑language university in Europe outside German‑speaking countries, the Andrássy Universität Budapest. The German minority in Hungary and its members, who were driven out of Hungary after World War Two and denaturalised and who, with a view to promoting reconciliation, now have their own day of remembrance in Hungary, serve as an additional, important link. With the German‑Hungarian Forum which has been held annually since 1991, we also have a very special instrument for dialogue covering issues from the spheres of politics, business, culture and the media.

German‑Hungarian relations are deep‑rooted and multi‑faceted. On this basis, we want to keep working both bilaterally and in the European and international context to maintain and deepen the European Union as a community of shared values and a peaceful order for the future and for coming generations.”

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