Amidst all the hullabaloo about media laws and the like it should not be forgotten that Hungary has taken over the six-monthly Presidency of the Council of the European Union. This is a powerful symbolic moment. Hungary is the first of the most recent member states to hold the Presidency since the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty and, just as significantly, it will be followed by another, Poland. This responsibility comes at a crucial time for the Union. Minister Zsolt Becsey made it clear that managing the current economic and financial crisis is the necessary first priority, with the Presidency undertaking the tricky exercise of simultaneously seeking to reduce debt and promote employment. Boosting economic growth, coordinating economic policies, following up on the Commission’s report on the European semester, boosting and extending the single market, energy policy, the Union’s commitments in countering climate change…; it would all stack up to a major challenge at any time, but Becsey’s speech imparted a quiet confidence that the Hungarian Presidency can and will rise to the challenge.