key policy shifts hungarian eu presidency 2024

Circulating since today, the Hungarian Presidency Programme marks a significant moment of transition and evolution in the European Union’s policy agenda. Building on the foundation laid by the Belgian Presidency, the Hungarian Presidency will carry forward many ongoing priorities while introducing new focus areas and shifting emphases to address current challenges and opportunities.

This AI-generated comparative analysis highlights the continuations, new items, dropped priorities, and shifts in focus, providing a comprehensive overview of the strategic directions and policy initiatives that will shape the EU’s future under the Hungarian leadership.


  1. Competitiveness and Economic Growth
    • Belgian Presidency: Emphasized the importance of the green and digital transition, support for SMEs, and enhancing European competitiveness through innovation and investment in sustainable technologies .
    • Hungarian Presidency: Focuses on the New European Competitiveness Deal, which aims to boost productivity, economic growth, and flexibility in the labor market. It emphasizes the integration of technological advancements and sustainability into all policy areas .
  2. Climate and Environmental Policies
    • Belgian Presidency: Continued the implementation of the European Green Deal, focusing on climate neutrality, biodiversity preservation, and the Fit for 55 package .
    • Hungarian Presidency: Also prioritizes climate action, focusing on implementing the Fit for 55 package and preparing for future climate goals. It emphasizes maintaining competitiveness while achieving environmental objectives .
  3. Migration and Security
    • Belgian Presidency: Addressed migration challenges through comprehensive border management and reforms in the Common European Asylum System. Security measures included combating terrorism and organized crime .
    • Hungarian Presidency: Stresses stemming illegal migration, enhancing external border protection, and improving cooperation with third countries on migration issues. Security priorities include fighting organized crime, terrorism, and enhancing cybersecurity .

New Items

  1. Agricultural Policy
    • Hungarian Presidency: Introduces a focus on a farmer-oriented EU agricultural policy, emphasizing sustainability, crisis resilience, and reducing administrative burdens for farmers .
    • Belgian Presidency: Did not highlight this specific focus in their priorities.
  2. Defense Policy
    • Hungarian Presidency: Highlights the reinforcement of European defense policy, with a focus on enhancing military capabilities, crisis management, and defense innovation .
    • Belgian Presidency: Focused more broadly on external action and strategic autonomy without a specific emphasis on defense policy.
  3. Geothermal Energy
    • Hungarian Presidency: Identifies geothermal energy as a priority for ensuring energy security and meeting climate goals, promoting its adoption and reducing financing risks .
    • Belgian Presidency: Focused on renewable energy generally, without specifying geothermal energy.

Dropped Priorities

  1. Digital Services and Single Market
    • Belgian Presidency: Placed significant emphasis on the Digital Services Act and Digital Markets Act to ensure fair competition and protect consumer rights in the digital space .
    • Hungarian Presidency: While still valuing digital transition, it does not highlight these specific legislative acts as prominently.
  2. Cultural Heritage and Creative Sectors
    • Belgian Presidency: Gave importance to supporting cultural heritage and creative sectors through initiatives like the New European Bauhaus .
    • Hungarian Presidency: While cultural participation is mentioned, it does not specifically continue the focus on initiatives like the New European Bauhaus.

Shifts in Focus

  1. Enlargement Policy
    • Belgian Presidency: Supported a merit-based enlargement policy, focusing on the Western Balkans and maintaining rigorous accession criteria .
    • Hungarian Presidency: Continues this support but places additional emphasis on consistent and merit-based policy while promoting political dialogue with Western Balkan countries .
  2. Health Policy
    • Belgian Presidency: Focused on recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, improving resilience in healthcare systems, and addressing mental health issues .
    • Hungarian Presidency: Continues health policy focus with added emphasis on tackling cardiovascular disease and addressing delayed health reforms post-pandemic .


The upcoming Hungarian Presidency continues many of the broad priorities set by the Belgian Presidency, such as competitiveness, climate action, and security. However, it introduces new items such as a focused agricultural policy, enhanced defense strategy, and specific attention to geothermal energy. There are notable shifts in digital services and cultural initiatives, with the Hungarian Presidency placing more emphasis on immediate economic and security challenges facing the EU.

Bear in mind that this analysis was AI generated with the objective of enabling your own deep dive.


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Este artículo fue escrito en inglés. Las versiones en otros idiomas se han traducido automáticamente, por lo que pueden contener información incorrecta.