A born Hungarian, I left the country shortly before my 7th birthday not long before the Iron Curtain came down. No longer a Hungarian-speaker, until recently, I have not had many contacts, professional or otherwise with Hungary. Only over the last years, I have been to events of the Central European Service for Cross-border Initiatives (CESCI) and have been invited as one of the keynote speakers at a conference celebrating its 10th anniversary. CESCI is sponsored by a Hungarian government greatly interested in strengthening links with its neighbours, most of which are home to Hungarian minorities. In fact, where others are lukewarm, Hungary stands out as the EU member with the largest number of European Groupings of Territorial Cooperation (EGTCs). So, I chose as my title ‘Where the EU and Hungary Seem to Agree: Cross-border Cooperation’. Which gave me the opportunity also to ask whether this affected state sovereignty and territoriality, modernist concepts that I had explored in ‘The Poverty of Territorialism’ (Faludi, 2018). Does this mean that  territories and identities overlapping gains acceptance in a country otherwise given to upholding its national sovereignty? Reactions of an audience including representatives from European institutions and from member states from north and south, east and west were encouraging to a point where I think that there is room for further discussion –

Text by Andreas Faludi.  

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