At a press conference held jointly with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki at Poland’s Embassy to the EU in Brussels, the Prime Minister said the two countries succeeded in making it clear that it is unacceptable that those who inherited the rule of law should lecture and criticise freedom-fighting nations which went through very difficult times and did much to bring down the communist regime.
Mr Orbán said they had successfully rejected every attempt to connect together two extremely important issues: EU funds and the rule of law; in this regard some countries had urged the creation of an entirely new mechanism.
Breaking the above-mentioned attempts is a great achievement equally for Hungary and Poland, he said, adding that Hungary takes the view that the two issues must be handled separately, and they managed to achieve this during the talks.
In the interest of clarifying the meaning of the ‘rule of law’ it will be necessary to revisit this issue in the near future, Mr Orbán said.
“The success of the negotiations shows that if we combine forces, no opponent can beat us,” he pointed out.
The meeting was not only an important, but also a good battle on the part of Poland, he added.
Among the results achieved, he made mention of the rate of grants allocated for the EU integration of the Western Balkans region and enlargement. In his words, the European Union needs Serbia more than Serbia needs the EU as without Serbia there is no well-functioning European security architecture.
In this regard, Mr Morawiecki described the sum allocated in the EU budget for enlargement as extremely important as in his view, in the absence of enlargement,a vacuum could develop in the Western Balkans which could be filled by countries such as Russia, Turkey or China.
“We, the European Union, must be there,” he said.
In the context of the rule of law, he highlighted among others that they managed to make it clear that there can be no connection between political and economic dimensions.
Poland has a vested interest in defending the rule of law, and in the strict oversight of the utilisation of EU funds and the rule of law. However, the political attacks levelled against the country for years for no real reason are unacceptable, the Polish Prime Minister added.
Mr Orbán highlighted that the issues yet to be resolved, including the transparency of civil-society organisations engaged in political activities which are the recipients of EU grants and at the same time attack their own governments in an unacceptable manner, will be tabled by the European Council again in the near future.
Regarding EU grants allocated to the most disadvantaged regions, the Prime Minister said Hungary believes that work is the key to success.
EU funds only work through the dedication and hard work of the Hungarian people. This is the guarantee for “looking forward to seven very happy years,” he said.
“May the Hungarian people never have a less successful morning than today’s,” the Prime Minister added.