Tue. Jun 6th, 2023

Ladies and gentlemen,

we had a detailed discussion this evening, on the one hand on the subject of relations with Turkey. Here, the Commission has given us a report on the way in which we can prolong the refugee agreement. These were proposals today which will soon be formally endorsed. We noted and approved this. It’s about additional funds of three billion euros, then afterwards also funds for Lebanon and Jordan. We will continue the work on a customs union and of course, we expect further constructive behaviour from Turkey. We have seen an improvement in the situation in the Mediterranean Sea.

We then discussed Russia, which was a very detailed and also not an easy discussion and we once again defined our requirements, under which conditions we would want to closely communicate and cooperate with Russia. And formats are now being worked on: Formats and conditionalities under which dialogue can be started. Today it was not possible to agree that we would meet immediately at the leaders’ level, but what is important to me is that the dialogue format is retained and that we’re working on it. Personally, I would have liked to have taken a bolder step here. But it’s also good as it is and we will continue to work on this.

In addition, we of course also talked with the Hungarian Prime Minister about the issue of homosexuality and the legislation. We have all made it very clear what fundamental values ​​we pursue. The Commission will now look further into the Hungarian law. It was a controversial but very, very honest discussion. And I think we need more such discussions so that we can also comprehend our mutual understanding of the essence of the European Union. There exist, not only with Hungary, very different ideas about the future of Europe with Hungary, but also very different ideas, i.e. this discussion must be continued.

Thank you very much.

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