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>> Britain may be leaving, but the EU isn't about to go short of awkward customers. Hungary saying, this week, it will not relinquish any of its national sovereignty to Brussels. The foreign minister announced on Wednesday that Budapest will also keep fighting the bloc's quota system for taking in asylum seekers.
>> But I definitely do not share the approach which says that the less sovereignty on the level of the member states, the stronger the European Union will be. I think it's a dead end street.>> Hungary is one of the EU's most prickly and nationalist-minded members. The right wing government there has clashed with Brussels over issues like judicial reform, media freedom, taxation, and, of course, migration.
As the EU plunges into an intense debate over deeper integration after Britain departs in 2019. These latest comments are proof of the resistance that integrationists, like French President Emanuel Macron, are likely to face. Reuters' Christina Tan explains.>> Hungary's a much smaller country than the UK, so, obviously, its voice within the EU is much less relevant.
However, Hungary, as an Eastern European member state, has taken the lead on several issues in the region. And, currently, Hungary is the president of the Visegrad 4 states that is Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland, and Hungary. So while I think it would be an overstatement to say that Hungary would take over, or could take over the role of the UK as a thorn in the side of integration in the EU.
Hungary has a strong voice in Eastern Europe, and if it can build an alliance in Eastern Europe, that could be significant.>> One area where Hungary does want a common approach is defense. It says having a European army would strengthen member states and benefit the entire bloc. But elections loom in April 2018, and Prime Minister Viktor Orban is looking to secure a third term in office.
Against this backdrop, any anti-Brussels rhetoric is only likely to increase over the months ahead.