The Prime Minister said that at the Saturday meeting of the European People’s Party’s Presidency there was discussion of a number of issues related to Hungary which had also been on the agenda of the European Parliament’s plenary session. Mr. Orbán stated that he had successfully defended Hungary’s position.
Speaking about the American billionaire George Soros’s recent visit to Brussels, the Prime Minister said that “There are some who want to harm Hungary, and there are others whose duty it is to defend the country”. In his view he had managed to set matters right in Brussels.
Mr. Orbán said that the issue of Central European University / Közép-európai Egyetem will proceed in the relevant legal channels, and no one may impose conditions on Hungary. This is a legal issue, he added, about which the European Commission and Hungary will have talks over the next few months. Hungary will implement the agreement resulting from this dialogue, the Prime Minister said.
With regard to the extraordinary summit of heads of state and government of the European Union, he said that his duty had been to ensure development of a scenario for negotiations with Britain during its withdrawal from the EU which is in line with Hungarian interests. He said that the outcome on this issue was also successful, as preparatory work resulted in the European Council adopting the guidelines relating to Brexit negotiations.
The Hungarian government is pro-European
Mr. Orbán said that the European People’s Party – and all EU bodies – request that when Hungary states an opinion on Europe it should be made clear that it is not intended to be anti-European.
He stressed that the European Union is more popular in Hungary than in any other Member State, and this is an achievement which also reflects the efforts of the Hungarian government, as it is pro-European.
The Prime Minister stated that he is not prepared to yield an inch in relation to his view that in a number of respects the European Union is functioning poorly and must be reformed. On this, he said, open debate must be conducted, and talks must be held.
He referred to issues which are dangerous for Hungarians – such as migration and a European Commission initiative which seeks to eliminate reductions in household utility charges. Mr. Orbán pointed out that Hungary seeks to change the minds of those who have made proposals on these issues.
The “Stop Brussels!” slogan is not anti-European, the Prime Minister said: Hungary is simply seeking to maintain the current allocation of competences between the Member States and the Brussels institutions. What Hungarians are interested in is that allocation should remain as it is today, Mr. Orbán said.