Gergely Gulyás, the head of the Prime Minister’s Office, and Katalin Novák, the state secretary for family and youth affairs and deputy leader of Hungary’s ruling Fidesz party, held talks in Berlin on the first days of Germany’s presidency of the European Union, the PM’s Office said.
The two officials met Paul Ziemiak, Secretary General of the conservative Christian Democrats (CDU), Markus Blume, Secretary General of the Christian Social Union (CSU), Wolfgang Schäuble, speaker of the Bundestag, Katja Leikert, deputy leader of the CDU/CSU group, former European Parliament President Hans-Gert Pöttering, and the state secretary for European affairs of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, the statement said. The visit aimed to boost cooperation among the two countries’ governing centre-right parties. Leaders of the CDU/CSU reaffirmed that they view Hungary as a strong ally and that they would aim to return to a “sensible tone” within the European People’s Party, the European political grouping to which the CDU/CSU and Fidesz belong, with member parties settling disagreements behind closed doors. The German and Hungarian governments have strengthened their cooperation in the areas of economic investments, digital industry and science, they said. Germany is a vital economic, cultural and political partner of Hungary, the statement added.
Fidesz has had a strong relationship with the CDU and CSU for decades, the statement said, adding that mutual respect for former German chancellor Helmut Kohl — at the invitation of whom Fidesz joined the EPP — and good personal relationships provided a sound basis for further cooperation.