Secretariat and Hungarian Authorities define common ground in the context of the Danube Strategy
Following official invitation by the Hungarian authorities, the Secretariat paid an official visit to Budapest on 17 January. The visit included meetings with key stakeholders, including the ministries of energy and foreign affairs, the regulatory authority, business and academia. Two topics dominated the discussions: the different possibilities for the Hungarian authorities and business to get more actively involved into the Energy Community process and concrete cooperation in line with the EU Danube Strategy, where energy stands high on agenda.
The whole day programme, which was prepared in close cooperation by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Hungary and the Hungarian Permanent Mission to the International Organizations in Vienna, included meetings with Mr. Pál KOVÁCS, Deputy State Secretary from the Ministry of National Development, as well as, with Mr. Balázs MEDGYESY, Government Commissioner responsible for the Danube Region Strategy from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. There was a separate briefing on the Energy Community for the two ministries, including the representatives of Hungarian Energy Office. The Secretariat also met with the Hungarian business community to discuss about their experiences and expectations in the Energy Community region. Finally, Director Slavtcho Neykov gave a lecture on Energy Security in the Danube Region at the Hungarian Institute of International Affairs.
The EU Danube Strategy currently includes also six neighbouring states, which are Contracting Parties to the Energy Community. “The Danube Strategy provides a variety of possibilities for cooperation. Together with Ambassador Orbán, we intend to formulate concrete common actions on the energy related activities, involving all Contracting Parties of the Energy Community in 2012 and beyond”, stated Director Neykov. In this relation, Ms. Anita ORBÁN, Ambassador at Large for Energy Security, extended an invitation to the Secretariat for the upcoming Danube Strategy conference, where a separate session on the Energy Community is envisaged. “I see the cooperation with the Energy Community as mutually benefitting. Whilst the Energy Community brings in the legal framework, the Danube Strategy can apply its soft power to create a truely regional market along the banks of river Danube”, added Ambassador Orbán.
The Secretariat, additionally, announced that it will host the Hungarian business community at its premises.