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Tag: France

What’s Behind Emmanuel Macron’s Visit to Budapest?

picture of Emmanuel Macron

Hungarian daily Népszava takes a look at what Emmanuel Macron (pictured) wants to get out of his first official visit to Hungary, and determines that the trip to Budapest may help the French President advance his domestic agenda.

According to the official version, the French President will meet with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, attend a summit with leaders of the Visegrád countries, and exchange views with Hungarian opposition politicians.

However, the next few months will be critical for Macron, says Népszava, as France will take over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union on January 1, and Macron is also vying for re-election as French President in April. Macron’s re-election chances will greatly increase, claims the Hungarian daily, if he succeeds in carrying out reforms on the future of the European Union that he has been promoting since 2017.

Notably, Emmanuel Macron is the third French presidential candidate to visit Budapest in the past few months, after Éric Zemmour and Marine Le Pen.

For Macron, therefore, there are partly domestic political reasons for this diplomatic offensive, which includes a stop in Budapest. In a Thursday opinion piece, French conservative paper Le Figaro said that Macron “wants to use Europe to destabilize his opponents in the Presidential election.”

The French President laid out his plans for the EU Presidency on Thursday at a time when the European Union is facing difficulties due to challenges from migration and the coronavirus epidemic. Macron’s visit to Budapest, suggests Népszava, may be intented to divert attention in France from the refugee issue, which the country’s right wing will want to put front and center in the country’s Presidential campaign.

[Népszava]

Macron Has Visited Every EU Country Except Hungary

picture of Emmanuel Macron

France supports Croatia’s accession to the Schengen area, the area within the European Union without internal border controls, Emmanuel Macron (pictured) said after talks with Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic in Zagreb on Thursday.

The trip is of special interest to Hungarians, writes Magyar Hang. With the French head of state’s trip to Croatia, Hungary is now the only EU state where Macron has not arranged an official state visit, according to the news site.

However, Hungary has not been without visits from French politicians lately. A month before Macron’s trip to Croatia, French politician Marine Le Pen, a leading figure in the French far right, was personally received by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in Budapest, where the two politicians held a joint press conference.

[Magyar Hang]

Péter Márki-Zay Meets With Macron Allies in Budapest

Picture of Péter Márki-Zay and French politicians

Péter Márki-Zay met with two MEPs from French President Emmanuel Macron’s La République En Marche! party on Wednesday, the Hungarian opposition leader stated on his Facebook page on Wednesday.

The opposition’s candidate for prime minister discussed the fight against corruption, the rule of law, and joining the European Public Prosecutor’s Office with Valérie Hayer and Pierre Karleskind, he wrote.

“We talked about the importance of the freedom of press, such as the independent European news channel Euronews, which is based in France but also broadcasts in Hungarian,” mentioned Márki-Zay.

[Népszava]

Far-Right French Leader Marine Le Pen Arrives in Budapest

444 writes that Marine Le Pen, President of France’s far-right National Rally party, has arrived in Budapest for talks with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán tomorrow. Following the talks, Orbán and LePen are expected to hold a joint press conference.