Prime Minister Viktor Orbán held bilateral talks with the President of the European Council, Charles Michel in Granada, Spain, on Thursday morning, the Prime Minister’s Press Chief Bertalan Havasi informed MTI. During the meeting, the two leaders discussed the topics of the two-day European summit.
Orbán reiterated Hungary’s position on issues such as EU funds for Hungary, the increasingly serious migration crisis at the continent’s borders, Europe’s economic and competitiveness decline, and the EU budget.
What Is the EPC?
The European Political Community (EPC), which comprises the 27 EU member states and seventeen neighbouring nations like Ukraine, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Switzerland, and the Balkan states, is convening its third summit in Granada on 5 October. The EPC serves as a platform for dialogue and collaboration between the European Union and neighbouring countries to address shared concerns and interests.
The idea of establishing the EPC was put forward in May 2022 by French President Emmanuel Macron, who was then holding the EU Council’s rotating presidency. He proposed it during his closing speech at the Conference on the Future of Europe, with the aim of addressing regional challenges and issues stemming from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The inaugural meeting of the group was organized in October 2022 in Prague, bringing together participants from 44 European countries. The second gathering, with 45 attendees, was held in Moldova in June 2023, and now, the third meeting is taking place in Granada, Spain, on 5 October.
EU Leaders React Azeri-Azerbaijani Clash
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has revealed that the EU plans to increase its humanitarian aid to Armenia, doubling it to €10.4 million. This decision comes in response to the influx of over 100,000 refugees who sought shelter in Armenia after Azerbaijani forces took control of the Nagorno-Karabakh region in September. Von der Leyen expressed strong support for Armenia’s humanitarian needs, emphasizing the EU’s commitment to assist the country. Additionally, the EU will offer €15 million in budgetary support to Armenia. She indicated a willingness to explore further measures to aid Armenia during these challenging circumstances.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev opted not to participate in the European Political Community meeting, a move regretted by EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell. Borrell also noted Turkey’s absence, as it is a key supporter of Azerbaijan. European leaders had hoped to facilitate discussions between Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan at the Granada gathering.
Sources: Hungarian Conservative/MTI