Hungarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, July to December 2024

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Publication Date 2024
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Summary:

Compilation of information resources relating to Hungary's presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU), which runs from 1 July to 31 December 2024.

Further information:

During the second half of 2024, Hungary holds the presidency of the Council of the EU. It is the second time Hungary has held the presidency since it joining the European Union in 2004. This is the third and last of a Presidency Trio which also includes Sweden and Spain.

The main priorities of the Hungarian Presidency are as follows:

  • New European Competitiveness Deal
  • The Reinforcement of European Defence Policy
  • A Consistent and Merit-Based Enlargement Policy
  • Stemming Illegal Migration
  • Shaping the Future of Cohesion Policy
  • A Farmer-Centered EU Agricultural Policy
  • Addressing Demographic Challenges

Under the motto Make Europe Great Again, the Hungarian Council Presidency vowed to ensure the continuity of work in the Council of the European Union in a transition context as a result of the European Parliament elections held in June 2024. Taking over the Council presidency, the country's authorities highlighted a number of challenges facing the EU, including the war in Ukraine, the deterioration of the EU's competitive edge on the global stage, a fragile security situation, illegal migration, the vulnerability of international supply chains, natural disasters, the effects of climate change, and the impact of demographic trends.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán launched his country's Council Presidency with a visit to Russia and China, leading to condemnation by other senior European and EU leaders. Tensions remained high following suggestions that EU leaders and other senior figures were preparing to boycott Council meetings held in Hungary.

Related Links
Commentary and Analysis
EUObserver: Opinion, 03/01/2024: How the European Parliament can stop Orbán's EU presidency https://euobserver.com/rule-of-law/ar0235cf7f
Balkan Insight: Analysis, 12/01/2024: Hungary in 2024: two elections and an EU Presidency https://balkaninsight.com/2024/01/12/hungary-in-2024-two-elections-and-an-eu-presidency/
German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP): IP Quarterly, 13/03/2024: The European Union’s Hungary Problem https://ip-quarterly.com/en/european-unions-hungary-problem
Politico, 08/04/2024: Occupy Brussels! Viktor Orbán’s plan for Europe https://www.politico.eu/article/viktor-orban-plan-europe-hungary-council-presidency-election/
Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House): Event, 08/05/2024: The future of Europe: Strategic perspectives of the incoming Hungarian EU Presidency https://www.chathamhouse.org/events/all/open-event/future-europe-strategic-perspectives-incoming-hungarian-eu-presidency
EUObserver: Opinion, 29/05/2024: The Hungarian EU presidency and Georgia's election — don't say you weren't warned https://euobserver.com/eu-and-the-world/ar627f9fe2
Balkan Insight, 18/06/2024: Hungary vows 'stability' for its EU presidency under populist banner https://balkaninsight.com/2024/06/18/hungary-vows-stability-for-its-eu-presidency-under-populist-banner/
Politico: Special Reports, 24/06/2024: Hungarian presidency of the EU https://www.politico.eu/special-report/hungary-presidency-eu-council/
European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR): The Loop Blog, 28/06/2024: A voice in favour of the Hungarian EU Council presidency https://theloop.ecpr.eu/a-voice-in-favour-of-the-hungarian-eu-council-presidency/
The Conversation, 28/06/2024: ‘Make Europe Great Again’: far right Hungary takes over presidency of the Council of the European Union https://theconversation.com/make-europe-great-again-far-right-hungary-takes-over-presidency-of-the-council-of-the-european-union-233566
Radio Free Europe, 01/07/2024: Hungary At The Helm: What To Expect From The EU's Next Presidency https://www.rferl.org/a/hungary-eu-presidency/33014873.html
Wilson Center: Global Europe Program, 01/07/2024: What’s in Store for the Hungarian Presidency of the EU Council? https://www.wilsoncenter.org/article/whats-store-hungarian-presidency-eu-council
Euronews, 01/07/2024: Will Orbán continue to go against the EU grain as Hungary takes over bloc's presidency? https://www.euronews.com/my-europe/2024/07/01/will-orban-continue-to-go-against-the-eu-grain-as-hungary-takes-over-blocs-presidency
Euro|topics, June-July 2024: How will Hungary handle its EU Council presidency? https://www.eurotopics.net/en/322247/how-will-hungary-handle-its-eu-council-presidency
The Spectator (UK): Coffee House, 02/07/2024: How Hungary’s presidency could shake up the EU https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/how-hungarys-presidency-could-shake-up-the-eu/
Politico, 05/07/2024: Orbán unites Europe — against him https://www.politico.eu/article/viktor-orban-hungary-council-of-the-eu-presidency-vladimir-putin-russia-volodymyr-zelenskyy-ukraine/
German Marshall Fund of the US (GMFUS): Insights, 09/07/2024: Member States Can End Orbán’s Strategy of Ridiculing the EU—If They Want To https://www.gmfus.org/news/member-states-can-end-orbans-strategy-ridiculing-eu-if-they-want
Le Monde: Opinion. 10/07/2024: 'Orban's maneuvers, on both the EU and international stage, are symptomatic of a broad disorganization of Western leadership' https://www.lemonde.fr/en/opinion/article/2024/07/10/orban-s-maneuvers-on-both-the-european-and-international-stage-are-symptomatic-of-a-general-disorganization-of-western-leadership_6679712_23.html
Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House): Expert Comment, 10/07/2024: Orbán is using Hungary’s EU Council presidency to bulldoze EU norms https://www.chathamhouse.org/2024/07/orban-using-hungarys-eu-council-presidency-bulldoze-eu-norms
Foreign Policy: Analysis, 11/07/2024: How Orban Became Putin’s Pawn https://foreignpolicy.com/2024/07/11/orban-putin-hungary-russia-war-politics-eu/
BBC News, 13/07/2024: Orban goes global as self-styled peacemaker without a plan https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/articles/cxw2k9dnjmno

News
The Guardian, 07/01/2024: Michel sparks scramble to stop Orbán taking control of European Council https://www.theguardian.com/world/2024/jan/07/michel-sparks-race-to-stop-orban-becoming-european-council-president
Euronews, 08/01/2024: Charles Michel’s election bid sparks race to stop Orbán from taking European Council reins https://www.euronews.com/my-europe/2024/01/08/charles-michels-election-bid-sparks-race-to-stop-orban-from-taking-european-council-reins
The Guardian, 26/01/2024: EU president to stay in post amid fears of Viktor Orbán getting role https://www.theguardian.com/world/2024/jan/26/eu-president-to-stay-in-post-amid-fears-of-viktor-orban-getting-role
EurActiv, 19/06/2024: Hungary vows to ‘make Europe great again’ with EU presidency https://www.euractiv.com/section/politics/news/hungary-vows-to-make-europe-great-again-with-eu-presidency/
France24, 28/06/2024: EU holds its breath as Hungary’s Orban vows to ‘Make Europe Great Again’ https://www.france24.com/en/europe/20240628-eu-holds-its-breath-as-hungary-s-orban-vows-to-make-europe-great-again
Le Monde, 30/06/2024: Hungary's Orban takes over Council of the European Union presidency for six months https://www.lemonde.fr/en/international/article/2024/06/30/hungary-s-orban-takes-over-council-of-the-european-union-presidency-for-six-months_6676218_4.html
EurActiv, 01/07/2024: Hungary takes on EU presidency amid concerns https://www.euractiv.com/section/politics/news/hungary-takes-on-eu-presidency-amid-concerns/
Reuters, 01/07/2024: Hungary takes EU presidency echoing Trump but likely to lack bite https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/hungary-takes-eu-presidency-echoing-trump-likely-lack-bite-2024-07-01/
BBC News, 02/07/2024: Hungary's Orban urges ceasefire on Kyiv visit https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/articles/c3gvrzpwp54o
Deutsche Welle, 03/07/2024: Hungary takes over rotating EU presidency https://p.dw.com/p/4hnLZ
EU Reporter, 03/07/2024: Concerns grow at impact on EU of Hungarian Presidency https://www.eureporter.co/politics/european-parliament-2/2024/07/03/concerns-grow-at-impact-on-eu-of-hungarian-presidency/
The Guardian, 04/07/2024: Orbán to meet Putin in Moscow visit likely to anger EU https://www.theguardian.com/world/article/2024/jul/04/orban-to-meet-putin-in-moscow-in-russia-visit-likely-to-anger-eu
Associated Press (AP News), 05/07/2024: Hungary’s Orbán meets Putin for talks in Moscow in a rare visit by a European leader https://apnews.com/article/hungary-russia-orban-putin-visit-ukraine-4755f85d49703be7971b262c18707222
Euronews, 05/07/2024: Hungary's Orban meets Putin in Moscow in rare European visit https://www.euronews.com/my-europe/2024/07/05/hungarys-orban-meets-putin-in-moscow-in-rare-european-visit
LRT News, 05/07/2024: Vilnius slams Orbán’s meeting with Putin: it undermines Hungary’s EU presidency https://www.lrt.lt/en/news-in-english/19/2312046/vilnius-slams-orban-s-meeting-with-putin-it-undermines-hungary-s-eu-presidency
Politico, 05/07/2024: With Brussels fuming, Putin welcomes Orbán as EU leader https://www.politico.eu/article/with-brussels-fuming-vladimir-putin-welcomes-viktor-orban-as-eu-leader/
Reuters, 05/07/2024: Hungary's Orban talks Ukraine peace with Putin, stirring EU outcry https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/hungarys-orban-says-no-position-negotiate-between-ukraine-russia-2024-07-05/
France24, 05/07/2024: Orban's meeting with Putin on Ukraine peace deal is 'appeasement', EU leaders say https://www.france24.com/en/europe/20240705-hungary-s-orban-arrives-in-moscow-on-peace-mission-without-eu-mandate
BBC News, 05/07/2024: Hungary's Russia-friendly PM meets Putin in Moscow https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/articles/cml29r8d2zxo
Le Monde, 07/07/2024: EU foreign policy chief issues fresh rebuke to Hungary's Orban https://www.lemonde.fr/en/international/article/2024/07/07/eu-foreign-policy-chief-issues-fresh-rebuke-to-hungary-s-orban_6676936_4.html
Euronews, 08/07/2024: Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán makes surprise China visit after trip to Russia https://www.euronews.com/my-europe/2024/07/08/hungarian-prime-minister-viktor-orban-makes-surprise-visit-to-china
EurActiv, 08/07/2024: Hungary defends ‘restoring communication channels’ with Russia’s Putin https://www.euractiv.com/section/eu-russia/news/hungary-defends-restoring-communication-channels-with-russias-putin/
Euronews, 09/07/2024: Orbán's big Hungarian presidency speech blocked by European Parliament https://www.euronews.com/my-europe/2024/07/09/eu-parliament-denies-hungarys-orban-chance-to-present-council-presidency-agenda
EurActiv, 10/07/2024: Hungary downplays concerns over potential EU presidency meeting boycotts https://www.euractiv.com/section/europe-s-east/news/hungary-downplays-concerns-over-potential-eu-presidency-meeting-boycotts/
The Guardian, 11/07/2024: Hungary’s Viktor Orbán to meet with Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago https://www.theguardian.com/world/article/2024/jul/11/orban-hungary-pm-trump-meeting
BBC News, 11/07/2024: Hungary's Viktor Orbán meets Donald Trump https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/articles/cydvj24m4g4o
Associated Press (AP News), 12/07/2024: Hungary’s Orbán faces backlash over his rogue ‘peace mission’ meetings with Western adversaries https://apnews.com/article/hungary-orban-trump-ukraine-putin-meeting-e51aa37295a23e537ba9d8643be04a49
Euronews, 15/07/2024: EU Commission boycotts Hungarian presidency over Orbán's controversial trips to Moscow and Beijing https://www.euronews.com/my-europe/2024/07/15/european-commission-will-boycott-hungarian-presidency-over-orbans-trips-to-moscow-and-beij
Le Monde, 15/07/2024: Top EU officials set to boycott Hungary meetings after Orban's Putin visit https://www.lemonde.fr/en/european-union/article/2024/07/15/top-eu-officials-set-to-boycott-hungary-meetings-after-orban-s-putin-visit_6685099_156.html
Associated Press (AP News), 15/07/2024: Top EU leaders will boycott meetings hosted by Hungary’s Orbán after his outreach to Russia, China https://apnews.com/article/hungary-orban-eu-russia-china-putin-xi-5b555db74c6b344c90f370caa70fbfda
Politico, 16/07/2024: MEPs call to strip Hungary’s EU voting rights amid Orbán’s ‘peace missions’ https://www.politico.eu/article/letter-63-meps-call-to-strip-hungary-eu-voting-rights-after-viktor-orban-peace-missions/

Official
Official Website of the Hungarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union https://hungarian-presidency.consilium.europa.eu/en/
European Parliament: Press Release, 18/01/2024: The Hungarian government threatens EU values, institutions, and funds, MEPs say https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/press-room/20240112IPR16780/
Ukrainian Presidency: News, 02/07/2024: Hungary's EU Presidency, Security Issues, and the Bilateral Relations Agreement: Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with Viktor Orbán in Kyiv https://www.president.gov.ua/en/news/golovuvannya-ugorshini-v-yes-pitannya-bezpeki-ta-ugoda-pro-d-91913
Russian Presidency (Kremlin): Events, 05/07/2024: Press statements following talks with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban http://www.en.kremlin.ru/events/president/transcripts/74475
EU EEAS: Russia: Statement by High Representative on the visit of Prime Minister Orbán to Moscow (5 July 2024) https://www.eeas.europa.eu/eeas/russia-statement-high-representative-visit-prime-minister-orb%C3%A1n-moscow_en
Renew Europe EP Group: Newsroom, 11/07/2024: Time to end Victor Orbán's rogue presidency of the Council of the EU https://www.reneweuropegroup.eu/news/2024-07-11/time-to-end-victor-orbans-rogue-presidency-of-the-council-of-the-eu

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