Slovenia and Hungary open border for their citizens
Dolga vas, 28 May - Slovenia and Hungary have agreed to lift restrictions on the crossing of state border for the citizens of both countries as of Thursday based on a favourable epidemiological situation in both countries and following successful diplomatic coordination, the Foreign Ministry said.
The announcement came after talks between the Slovenian and Hungarian foreign ministers, Anže Logar and Peter Szijjarto, who met at the Dolga Vas checkpoint.
The talks were dedicated to the current rules on the border, the coronavirus epidemic and the situation of ethnic minorities on both sides of the border.
The ministers assessed that Slovenia and Hungary are among the EU countries which have been the most successful in dealing with Covid-19, and called for the reopening of borders in the region as soon as possible.
Logar said the agreement reached today was an important diplomatic achievement. He said he was also happy with the conclusions of the talks on the issues of the Slovenian minority in Hungary and the Hungarian minority in Slovenia.
Szijjarto said the pandemic had shown how closely countries in central Europe were connected, especially neighbouring countries. Slovenia and Hungary reaffirmed their friendship, partnership and cooperation during this difficult times, he added.
According to Logar, the talks on the new border regime with neighbouring countries with a similar epidemiological situation were based on partnership and opinions of the National Institute for Public Health on which countries are safe.
He is confident that Slovenia will continue these talks in the coming days. If such a deal is reached with Austria, the borders with the country will open before 15 June.
Italy does not meet the epidemiological standards yet, and Croatia is working to create a regime that will make travelling easier for Slovenians who have real estate there or for other purposes, Logar said.
The ministers also discussed activities at the EU level, including on the current Commission's proposal for the multi-year financial framework, which includes setting up a recovery and resilience facility.
Logar argued for a rapid and ambitious agreement on the multi-year framework to fight off the consequences of the pandemic. Cohesion policy remains a priority for Slovenia, he stressed.
Szijjarto said that a new post-pandemic world order was being formed in which new dilemmas would cause new conflicts. "The Slovenian and Hungarian governments support each other; we will advocate the same views and help each other, be it with regard to illegal migration, preservation of cohesion funds, or the EU enlargement."
The ministers also reviewed progress in cross-border transport and energy projects, especially the power line between Cirkovce and Heviz, and the gas pipeline between Kidričevo and Nagykanizsa.
Logar will meet representatives of the Slovenian minority in Szentgotthárd today.
Hungary closed the border with Slovenia because of coronavirus in early March, and erected checkpoints through which limited goods transport was allowed into the country.
As of today all restrictions are lifted on the four existing border checkpoints: Hodoš-Bajansenye, Dolga vas-Redics, Pince (motorway)-Torniyszentmiklos (Orszagut) and Pince (local road)-Torniyszentmiklos (Helyi ut). The remaining points of crossing are to open on Tuesday.