In an interview with Hungarian news channel M1 on Tuesday, after a meeting of the European Council which decided on the allocation of leadership posts for the institutions of the European Union, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said that grave errors have been made in the European Union over the past few years. He said that all of these errors must be corrected.
The Prime Minister said that in the EU there are problems related to economic policy, migration policy and the level of respect accorded to nations, and that therefore there is much work to be done. He added that now, however, the chances of solving these problems have greatly improved.
Mr. Orbán noted that the foregoing negotiations had been tense, due to the high stakes involved: decisions needed to be made on who will lead European Union institutions over the coming years, this will determine many things, and it will be important for every Member State.
He described the question as being whether or not positions would be given to politicians who like and respect Hungary, who know the history of Central Europe, who appreciate the importance of Christian culture, and whose view of migration coincides with that of Hungarians: that it is a threat.
The Prime Minister stated that therefore important matters of content were also addressed when making decisions on nominees for leading positions.
He stressed that “We were able to remain true to our initial position, the one which we had agreed on”, adding that the proposed leaders of the EU institutions will pursue policies which are good for Hungary – or at least there is a good chance that they will do so.
The Prime Minister observed, however, that the work ahead “is not inconsequential and not easy”, and that it is only just starting.
Mr. Orbán stressed that there continue to be differences, and so there will be struggles in the future. He said that an important victory had been won, but in international politics new disputes are always emerging. Nevertheless, he added, now Central Europeans and Hungarians “also have strength” to assert their will.
The Prime Minister stressed that, even apart from its most recent achievements, the Central European region and the Visegrád Four (the V4 nations of Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia) has a prominent role. He described this alliance as a success story, highlighting the fact that there are also other groups of countries which cooperate with one another, but at present none of them display as much solidarity as the members of the V4.
The Prime Minister stated that credit for this is due to the Czech prime minister Andrej Babiš – who this year is president of the Visegrád Four – for keeping the V4 alliance together, even throughout debates on such difficult issues.
He also stressed the following: collectively the V4 leaders represent 62 to 63 million people; the Visegrád alliance’s volume of trade with the German economy is higher than that of France or Italy; and the region has both the EU’s highest economic growth rate and its fastest declining unemployment rate.
The Prime Minister said that two politicians had been considered for the position of President of the European Commission who “would have been more than bad” for Hungary, as they had proved that they do not respect Hungary and the Hungarian people.
The nomination of these two politicians had been blocked, he said, and instead of them the nominee is a German mother of seven: Ursula von der Leyen. Mr. Orbán said that this in itself indicates that change can be expected in Europe.