Heads of state meeting in Vienna - Austria
Katalin Novák paid an official visit to re-elected President of Austria Alexander Van der Bellen in Vienna. During a private meeting, the two Heads of State discussed the war in Ukraine, the situation of Hungarians in Transcarpathia, the need for energy independence, the issue of immigration and migration, and the importance of continuing the EU enlargement process to include the Western Balkans.
Speaking at a joint press conference with the Austrian President, the Hungarian President said that at the meeting they agreed that both sides are committed to a stable relationship between the two countries and to engaging the two countries in as strong an alliance as possible.
According to Katalin Novák, Hungary's position is that in order to stop illegal migration, the southern borders should be strengthened, focusing also on the Serbian and northern Macedonian borders. "We need permeable, open internal borders and secure external borders in Europe." - she stressed.
The Hungarian head of state added that they clearly saw eye to eye with the Austrian president in supporting refugees. They believe that supporting and accepting genuine refugees is a humanitarian task, that legal economic immigration can be the result of sovereign national decisions, but that decisive action is needed against illegal immigration.
Hungary's position on the Russian-Ukrainian war is clear, said Katalin Novák, stressing that Hungary condemns Russian aggression, condemns the attack on a sovereign and independent country, does not recognise the annexed territories as belonging to Russia, and that Hungary supports Ukraine.
Austria and Hungary are also calling for peace to be achieved as soon as possible, stressed Katalin Novák.
Alexander van der Bellen specifically pointed out that "in Austria it is perhaps less well known that the war has one point of particular significance for Hungary, and that is the Hungarian minority in Ukraine." The Austrian President said that it is clear to all of us that this situation is a cause for concern in Hungary. Ukraine's policy towards minorities, to put it mildly, is not without criticism, the Austrian President added.
Katalin Novák said that Hungary supports the integration of the Western Balkan countries. It is important that those who do well receive positive, reinforcing messages from the European Union, she added.
She praised the situation of Hungarians working in Austria and Austrian investments and companies in Hungary. In response to a question, Katalin Novák said that around 9,000 Hungarians were affected by the Austrian decision to reduce the support for families working in Austria as non-Austrian citizens. However, as a result of the withdrawal of the regulation on the suspension of family support, the Hungarians concerned will receive the money they are entitled to.
The President of Hungary invited her Austrian counterpart to Hungary to show him the country's beauty and values.
Following her meeting with Archbishop Christoph Schönborn of Vienna, Katalin Novák gave a lecture at the Catholic University „International Theological Institute” in Trumau on the importance of the traditional family model, the compatibility of having children, family life and career, and answered questions from students.