Novak announces ‘alliance of family-friendly presidents’
Hungarian President Katalin Novak announced the establishment of a network of family-friendly presidents, during a press conference held after talks with her Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vucic on Friday.
The network will include “family-centered and family-friendly heads of state”, she told a joint press conference in Belgrade.
She praised Vucic for showing “how important families are to him, as a person and as a president.” It works so that young families planning to raise children can receive support in Serbia, she said.
Discussions focused on migration, European Union enlargement and energy and family policy, she said.
Regarding the war in Ukraine, Novak said that the European Union sanctions against Russia and the resulting energy crisis had an impact on both Serbs and Hungarians, with ramifications going well beyond Europe. She warned of the difficulties ahead, adding that the war was unlikely to end soon. “That’s why we support peace and call for an end to war as soon as possible,” she said. “A way must be found for peace talks and a speedy peace agreement,” she added.
The President referred to the wave of illegal immigration arriving via Serbia. She thanked Serbia for its efforts to prevent masses of migrants from reaching Hungary. “We must do everything to preserve Europe’s security,” she said, adding that Serbia was a “key partner” in these efforts.
On Serbia’s efforts to become a member of the EU, Novak said that this country would add to the wealth of the EU, and insisted that “the EU also needs Serbia, not only the reverse”. Hungary will continue to support “all decisions aimed at the integration (of Serbia)”, she said.
Novak noted “much more intensive” economic cooperation than before between the two countries, and thanked Vucic for being a partner of Serbia in the Hungarian government’s economic program in Vojvodina.
Vucic said bilateral relations were at a “historic high” and noted the efforts of Novak, who had promoted the relationship in her previous positions and now as president. He also mentioned Prime Minister Viktor Orban and ethnic Hungarian leader Istvan Pasztor, who had “worked a lot” to improve relations.
Regarding the economy, Vucic said that bilateral trade turnover reached 2.2 billion euros in the first month of the year, the highest growth rate with Serbia’s partners in the region.
Vucic also mentioned that Hungary allows him to use its gas storage facilities. He added that his country was awaiting the winter season “if not calmly but with a calmer heart”.