Slovak-Hungarian Youth Congress commemorates bilateral ties, NATO and EU membership
On 24-26 April, Slovak and Hungarian delegations of the Youth Atlantic Treaty Organization opened a new chapter in bilateral relations with the convening of a Congress on joint security issues.
Held in the adjoining cities of Komárno and Komárom, the Congress, entitled “A Common Imperative for a Common Future”, celebrated both the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s 60th anniversary and the 5th anniversary of fellow European Union membership.
Following the creation of Hungary and Czechoslovakia in 1919, Komárno and Komárom were divided along the Danube. The left-bank Komárno was incorporated into Czechoslovakia while Komárom remained in Hungary. Authorities removed border controls on the bridge connecting the two cities on 12 December 2007.
In commemoration of closer bilateral ties, delegates held the Congress in Slovak Komárno on the morning of Saturday, 25 April, and then crossed the bridge over the Danube to continue in Hungarian Komárom during the afternoon. Participants also played a friendly football match. Zoltan Nagy of the Political Affairs and Security Policy Division and Barbora Maronkova of the Public Diplomacy Division represented NATO at the event.
Delegates to the Congress used the symbolism of the bridge crossing and the football match to reflect upon the importance of warm Slovak and Hungarian relations and the shared responsibilities of NATO and EU membership.