Barroso welcomes Hungarian priorities for EU presidency

11:24, January 08, 2011      

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European Commission President Manuel Baroso (L) attends a press conference with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban after the first joint session of the European Commission and the Hungarian Government in Budapest, capital of Hungary, on Jan. 7, 2011. Starting from January 1, Hungary took over the rotating presidency of the European Union for a six-months term.(Xinhua/Attila Volgyi)

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said in Budapest on Friday that he welcomes Hungary 's priorities for its six-month European Union (EU) presidency, and that the Commission is "committed to work hand in hand with Hungary's presidency to make it a success."

Speaking at a joint press conference with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Barroso said the first-ever Hungarian presidency comes at an "exceptional time of tremendous economic challenges for Europe."

"Europe can only be strong if it is able to work in a coordinated manner with strong institutions, with a common governance, and with stronger economic coordination," Barroso said.

"Protecting and strengthening the euro is the number one priority for both the Hungarian presidency and Europe," Orban noted.

The Hungarian presidency can only be considered successful if the EU basic treaty is amended to set up a crisis management mechanism during the six months, said Orban.

Another criterion for success, Orban said, is whether or not the EU "economic policy cooperation gets off to a good start this spring."

Two other priorities of the Hungarian presidency would be EU enlargement and energy. "The revival of optimism regarding enlargement is an important task for Hungary," Orban said.

Hungary officially took over the presidency of the EU at a ceremony in the parliament building on Thursday.

Source: Xinhua

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