The Presidency is making special efforts to encourage Member Statess to discuss the accession of Romania and Bulgaria to the Schengen Area, declared Foreign Minister, János Martonyi on 19 May 2011, after a talk in Budapest with his Romanian counterpart, Teodor Baconschi.
In his follow-up press briefing, János Martonyi stressed that the extension of the area without internal border control, is not linked in any way to the review initiatives of the Schengen system. In addition to determining both countries compliance with the technical criteria in June, the European Council should also make a political reference to keeping the Schengen accession of both countries on the agenda, underlined the Hungarian Foreign Minister.
Mr Martonyi thanked Romanian Foreign Minister, Teodor Baconschi for the support that his country has provided to the Hungarian Presidency and remarked that, “A great number of shared interests and criteria connects us in within the European Union”.
The Hungarian Foreign Minister said that Romania also shares the fundamental aims of the Hungarian Presidency. Amongst them, he mentioned the Danube Strategy as a reference that the two countries should take joint action regarding environmental risks. The shared aims clearly include the Roma Strategy, the reinforcement of economic governance, Croatia’s earliest possible EU accession, and a set of EU policies that are important for both countries; such as the maintenance of the cohesion, agricultural and energy policies, he added.
Releasing foreign journalists from Libya
In response to a journalist , Mr Martonyi mentioned that four foreign journalists were released from detention in Libya, as a result from the Hungarian Embassy’s efforts. He thought that Hungarian diplomacy should be proud of this. In the current situation, the Hungarian Embassy at Tripoli, is primarily responsible for humanitarian action. “We have to stay there until there is a need for us,” declared the minister.
János Martonyi reminded that the Hungarian diplomatic mission in Tripoli, virtually the only one representing the EU and its Member States in the North African country, had been working for days to help the journalists, two American, one British and one Spanish, to make the first contact with their families, the outside world, “And, of course, we urged the authorities to release these people”.
According to a previous communication of the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a representative of the Libyan government handed over the journalists, who had been detained for weeks, to the Hungarian Ambassador to Tripoli on 18 May. In a letter to Ambassador Béla Marton, Pierre Vimont, Secretary General of the European External Action Service, expressed his appreciation of the successful rescue action.