Newsletter 2010/01/06 - The Danube Strategy
BUDAPEST/BERLIN/ULM (Own report) - The Hungarian government has announced a "Danube Summit Meeting" for next month to implement the - German inspired - "Danube Strategy". Following in depth talks in Berlin, the Hungarian foreign minister announced that the "Danube Summit" will be held in Budapest at the end of February. The summit will prepare closer ties of the Danube region to the EU's hegemonic power, which should be adopted, as the EU's Danube Strategy, during Hungary's EU Council presidency in the first half of 2011. The Hungarian government's Danube activities are in line with demands of German economic interests, seeking to significantly extend their range of activities into their traditional region of expansion. Bavarian trade with countries along the Danube, beyond Austria, already surpasses its trade with France or China. Due to the predominant position of German companies in Hungary, Budapest is now benefiting from serving German economic interests. To demonstrate the economic dependence of his country, the Hungarian ambassador explained that "when Germany sneezes, Hungary is already bedridden." The close German-Hungarian cooperation ostentatiously reinforces Budapest's position - which this spring could lead to serious tensions in Eastern Europe. The April parliamentary elections could bring an authoritarian government to power that uses aggressive, ethno chauvinist, anti-Semitic intonations.