Yet the uncertainty that has become permanent in so many areas is now keeping the fate of whole countries on a perpetual roller-coaster, thus shaking the lives of individuals everywhere. One has to jump with courage. We now have to reform a series of badly functioning systems, which up until now were considered to be unchangeable. What we need now are conditions that make us more resistant to crisis, which ensure development and preserve competitiveness.
Hungary as a responsible EU member state has made a huge leap toward stability and competitiveness. The new fundamental law of Hungary that will enter into effect on January 1, 2012, marks a new beginning in economic terms. It contains very strong constitutional provisions to reduce the national debt. It prohibits the further increase of public debt and prescribes the reduction of the public debt to at least fifty percent of GDP . I believe that this strong legislative limitation will make Hungarians’ future more predictable.
We consider transatlantic cooperation within NATO to be the most factor providing long term security and stability; we also share America’s mission of combating terrorism. Ensuring our security is undoubtedly one of the greatest challenges, in which the USA is playing an outstanding role, with the European Union playing its part. The United States of America and Hungary have an excellent allied relationship in a number of areas in the transatlantic context. This summer several events in Budapest showcased our transatlantic commitment. We unveiled Ronald Reagan’s statue, Secretary of State Hillary Clintonmet with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and the two of them inaugurated the Tom Lantos Institute, named after the Hungarian-born, former US Congressman with the mission to conduct research on human rights in the Central and Eastern European region. We also hosted former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who attended the Freedom Dinner in Budapest. True bonds can only be created based on shared values. We have plenty of such shared values and we aim to spread them.
In 2011 during the Hungarian Presidency of the Council of the EU, we turned our attention to the revolutions in the Arab world. Hungary is proud of the work it has done as one of the only European embassies to remain open in the Libyan capital, where we also represented the United States and the EU. We were instrumental in assuring the release and freeing several journalists – some of them Americans – from Libya. We have to do our utmost to provide everything these countries require, offer the assistance of the EU and its member states as well as share our own experience of transition, so that the Arab Spring could then lead to Arab democracies.
Mr. Pál Schmitt is the President of the Republic of Hungary.