Strategic Partnership Agreement signed between Serbia and Hungary

08. Sep 2021.
The Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia, Ana Brnabić, and the Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orbán, signed an Agreement on cordial relations and strategic partnership between the two countries in Budapest today, and numerous accompanying documents were also signed.

The mentioned agreement will create institutional frameworks for further improvement of relations between Serbia and Hungary and realization of joint projects in many areas.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikola Selaković, and the Minister of Agriculture of Hungary, István Nagy, signed a Memorandum of Cooperation between young farmers of the two countries, and the Minister of Technology and Innovation of Hungary, László Palkovics, and the Minister of Economy, Anđelka Atanasković, signed a Memorandum of Cooperation in the area of technology.

Interior Ministers, Sándor Pintér and Aleksandar Vulin, signed the Protocol on mixed patrols along the common border.

The annual plan for providing technical and professional assistance to Serbia in the process of European integration was signed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Hungary, Péter Szijjártó, and the Minister of European Integration, Jadranka Joksimović.

The ministers of foreign affairs of Serbia and Hungary signed the Agreement on the training of diplomatic staff, while Szijjártó, together with the Minister of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure, Tomislav Momirović, signed the Agreement on the realization of the project of fast passenger ships that will operate between the two countries.

A joint session of the two governments was held at the seat of the Government of Hungary, which was preceded by numerous bilateral meetings.

Speaking at a joint press conference with the Prime Minister of Hungary, Brnabić stated that Hungary gives the greatest support to Serbia in the process of European integration and that it has become the third largest economic and trade partner of our country.

At the same time, she expressed expectation that the total trade in 2021 will exceed two billion euros.

Expressing gratitude for the hospitality, the prime minister emphasized that Serbia has not held six joint sessions of the two governments with any country so far, as is the case with Hungary.

She reminded that a lot has been achieved since 2014, when the first joint session of the two governments was held, when the Prime Minister of Serbia was Aleksandar Vučić, estimating that all that led to today's signing of the mentioned agreement.

A number of joint successes have been achieved, and above all, I want to thank for the political support for European integration, Brnabić emphasized and added that Hungary openly and sincerely stands for the enlargement agenda and gives Serbia the greatest support on the European path.

According to her, the Agreement on joint use of embassies and diplomatic and consular missions, which was signed earlier, also speaks about special bilateral relations.

Hungary is Serbia's most reliable partner on the European path, she repeated and explained that the country provides us with professional, technical, developmental and any other type of assistance at all times, in order for us to prepare better and implement everything that is necessary.

In that context, the prime minister stated that the best cooperation is with the Ministry of European Integration, headed by Jadranka Joksimović, explaining that this communication is daily and important for every project.

On the other hand, there is political support, which is reflected in the fact that Hungary unequivocally says every time, at all forums organized in Brussels or elsewhere, that Serbia should become a member of the EU as soon as possible and it gives, without hesitation, the green light to open chapters, that is, clusters for which we are ready, thus encouraging the acceleration of Serbia towards the EU, Brnabić underlined.

According to her, relations with Hungary are at the highest possible level.

When it comes to economic cooperation, the prime minister emphasized that there are more and more Hungarian investments, both in Vojvodina and throughout Serbia, believing that there will soon be even more of them, thanks to the Investment Fund which promotes the arrival of foreign companies in Serbia.

According to her, economic cooperation is constantly growing, and only from January to June 2021, exports to Hungary reached 528 million euros, i.e., it increased by 52.8 percent compared to the same period last year.

Hungary is a permanent, open partner that pays attention to both exports to Serbia and imports of goods from our country, the prime minister pointed out and specified that imports grew by 11.8 percent and reached 586 million euros.

Also, as she added, Hungary is continuously improving trade and goods cooperation, and it is expected that this will be further expanded in the field of innovation and technology.

Orbán said that the strategic cooperation between Serbia and Hungary could serve as a safe point for the future of the two countries, reiterating that the relations between Belgrade and Budapest are at a very high level.

The Hungarian Prime Minister mentioned that economic cooperation is getting better – from trade, through investments to employment, and we are also connected by traffic infrastructure and border crossings.

Orbán noticed that there are different phases in the development of our economies, however, Serbia has excellent economic indicators, and those phases in economic development between the two countries will soon disappear.

He conveyed that he expects Serbian investors to appear in the Hungarian economy in a short time, and at the same time reminded that from 1 October, Hungary will manage to provide transport of 8.5 billion cubic meters of gas through the Turkish stream, which leads to Hungary through Serbia.

That means a lot for Hungary, the Prime Minister underlined and reminded that so far, Hungary has contributed to the supply of gas to Serbia, while now it will be the other way around, which is completely natural.

According to him, the Hungarian side will try to realize the Belgrade-Budapest high-speed railway project within the set deadline, and thus ensure an even better flow of goods and people between the two countries.

Also, as he said, the wish is to provide modern railway transport on the line Subotica-Szeged from next year.

He mentioned that the traffic at the border crossings in road traffic has improved, but that it is quite difficult due to certain infrastructural limitations.

However, Orbán said that he would do his best to increase the capacities for the flow of goods and people at the Horgos and Kelebija crossings, in order to shorten the several-hour wait, and the intention is to make the Backi breg crossing suitable for freight traffic.