Slovakia-Hungary relations start to improve

PMs are starting to agree

In addition to the signing of an agreement on the construction of a cross-border gas connection, the visit of Hungarian PM Viktor Orban to Slovakia on Friday also raised the thorny issue again of dual citizenship.

Prime Minister Iveta Radicova made it clear to Orban that the only responsible and sensitive way of dealing with the issue of dual citizenship between the two countries was to draw up some kind of bilateral agreement. Orban conceded in the end that this was a possibility and maybe the right thing to do.

The fact that it is the first official visit of a Hungarian PM to Slovakia in 12 years shows that relations between the two countries have not exactly been at their best of late, being inflamed further by the adoption of the dual citizenship law in Hungary right before the Slovak elections in June 2010.

The Slovak government will now draw up a blueprint for the agreement and present it to the Slovak-Hungarian steering committee meeting on 17 February.

The two PMs also spoke about concluding a similar agreement to the one for the gas pipeline also for linking up the electricity grids of both countries. Other areas included improvement of transport connections, which would see the completion of the R4 dual carriageway between Kosice and Miskolc in Hungary and the construction of a new bridge spanning the Danube at Komarno.

The Slovak PM said she regarded these issues of strategic importance for Slovakia and that special working groups would be set up to deal with the details.

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