24 Mar

At the General Affairs Council meeting on 22 March 2022, Hungary was represented by Minister Judit Varga. The Council was chaired by Clément Beaune, French Secretary of State for EU Affairs, and the Commission was represented by Vice-Presidents Dubravka Šuica and Maroš Šefčovič.

Preparation of the European Council on 24-25 March 2022

The General Affairs Council held an exchange of views about the preparation of the upcoming European Council meeting on 24-25 March 2022 based on the Draft Conclusions. The Ministers focused the discussion on Russia's military aggression against Ukraine, security and defence policy, energy, the COVID-19 pandemic, economic issues and external relations.

European Semester

The ministers also discussed the synthesis report, summarising the Council’s contributions to the 2022 European Semester, the updated roadmap of the Semester, and the draft recommendation on the economic policy of the euro area. The latter was an important element of the discussion, as the document is now forwarded to the European Council, before being adopted by the next ECOFIN Council.


Conference on the Future of Europe

The French presidency has proposed to the Council a methodology for the next stages of the Conference with a view to the closing event on 9 May. At the end of last week, the recommendations of the last Citizens’ Panels on the economy, social justice, youth, education and digital transformation; EU in the world and migration were presented to the plenary. (https://futureu.europa.eu/assemblies/citizens-panels). The next plenary sessions are scheduled for 25 and 26 March, 8 and 9 April and 29 and 30 April. (https://futureu.europa.eu/pages/plenary) All EU citizens can contribute to shaping their own future and that of Europe as a whole on the digital platform (https://futureu.europa.eu/?locale=en).

Revision of the Regulation on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations

Ministers agreed on a partial general approach regarding the recast of the regulation on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations. The aim of the review is to increase the financial transparency of European political parties, to strengthen their role in the European political sphere and to protect European democracy from foreign interference. To this end, the mandate strengthens the rules for controlling funding, increases the visibility of European political parties in European political life and ensures that European elections are free from foreign influence. These goals are also key for the forthcoming 2024 European elections. On the Hungarian side, we welcomed the provisions prohibiting external financial influence and the possibility of interfering in national referendums, and emphasized the importance of respecting the principle of subsidiarity and national competences.

EU-UK relations

Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the Commission briefly informed the delegations about two recently adopted proposals for regulations laying down rules for the exercise of the Union's rights in the implementation and enforcement of Agreements between the European Union and the United Kingdom. The proposals mirror the existing empowerments of the Commission established temporarily in the Council Decision on the conclusion, on behalf of the Union, of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement as well as extend to unilateral measures to be adopted under the Withdrawal Agreement.