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A step closer to a long-awaited agreement?

A step closer to a long-awaited agreement?

After his appointment in March, Gábor Čepek met for the first time with his Slovak negotiator, Andrej Kasana, the government commissioner responsible for the construction and operation of the Bos-Nagymaros hydropower system, on March 28, 2024, in Ebonyi. The priority task of the Hungarian Government Commissioner is to explore the possibilities of reaching a compromise solution to the controversial issues related to the Bose Power Plant, which have existed for several decades, through bilateral negotiations. In its announcement, the Ministry of Energy said that according to the experience of the first meeting, the encouraging development of Hungarian-Slovak relations could create a suitable basis for the long-term agreement.

Construction on Nagymaros has been suspended for 35 years. The ruling issued by the International Court of Justice in The Hague in 1997, requiring parties to resolve differences of opinion, dates back more than a quarter of a century. However, a solution acceptable to both parties still awaits, for example, sharing the water flow of the Danube River or energy issues.

– It is mentioned in the Ministry’s announcement.

Since 12 March 2024, Gábor Čepek, Secretary of State for Public Administration at the Ministry of Energy, also serves as State Commissioner responsible for the development of Hungarian-Slovak energy infrastructure. In this role, he must develop a draft negotiating position on the Bős-Nagymaros barrage system. The appointment decision authorizes the Government Commissioner to represent the Government in the areas of energy, environmental policy and international legal negotiations.

The capabilities and challenges faced by Hungary and Slovakia are very similar from a political point of view, and their situation as a whole is characterized by interdependence and identity of interests. Under the agreement, government representatives recommend that their governments conduct an intensive and dynamic dialogue to review relevant matters and achieve common goals. They agreed that they wanted to end the decades-old legal disputes in a short period of time.

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The government commissioner and his Slovak colleague confirmed that the next round of the series of discussions will be held in Hungary next July, and until then the working groups will develop joint theses on water and energy management.

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