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Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s speech at the oath-taking ceremony for police cadets

Honourable Oath Takers,

I respectfully welcome you, your parents and family members here in Heroes’ Square. Today each of you has sworn an oath on Hungary’s Constitution, your honour and your conscience, that you will perform your duty – even if that means risking your life. The heroes of the Hungarian nation, whose statues stand here before us, are linked by the same notion: even in the face of the greatest challenges, they remained loyal to their homeland and to their oath. This is also the task and mission that awaits you, honourable oath takers. You have good reason to be proud of the oath you have taken today. This is the greatest pledge that a Hungarian can make to their homeland. It is a decision that demands a courageous attitude, a clear head, a devoted heart and a youthful soul. I also ask you to be proud of your oath because today you have committed yourself to protecting such important things as the safety of Hungarian families, the concept of life based on our national culture, and the social order based on our Christian history of a thousand years. To us Hungarians for many centuries these have been the rock-like foundations on which we could build a safe and Hungarian future. I ask you to consider the fact that there are some European countries in which these important things belong to the past, or are now at most merely societal patterns which have survived by chance. And finally, I ask you to take pride in your oath because from this moment on you will be full members of the Hungarian Police, which over the past seven years has deservedly won the public’s trust and appreciation. You will be members of a police force among the ranks of which were those who recently lost their lives, and others who only just survived attacks by armed criminals. I would like to take this opportunity to once again salute our police officers who are returning to work after recovering from their injuries.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The work performed by Hungarian police officers deserves respect. In recent years you have stood your ground on two fronts: you have protected the borders of Hungary and Europe, and meanwhile public safety in our country has improved. Thanks to our joint efforts we can state that Hungary is still one of the least dangerous countries in the world. Today our borders may only be crossed by people who arrive legally and who respect our laws. We are a hospitable people, and all well-intentioned foreign guests are entitled to be welcome: our laws and legal system guarantee their right to this. In order to prevent abuse of our hospitality and to protect our security, however, it is also in our shared interest to screen out those with malicious intent. In the course of your work you will come face to face with anger and aggression. Remember that under your uniform there is a heart as well as muscle: you will require both. I ask you to enforce the laws of the Hungarian people without compromise; but in doing so you must also pass the test of humane behaviour.

Honourable Oath Takers,

In the coming decade or so Europe’s most treasured asset will be security. This will be the precondition not only for our families’ peaceful and predictably secure lives, but also for Hungary’s performance and success. The situation in Europe is crystallising into two groups of countries: those in which life is safe, and those in which it is not. We Hungarians can proudly state – and with all due modesty – that today our homeland is one of the safest countries in Europe. This is thanks to the fact that we have good police: officers who, through their diligent service and unwavering and exemplary work, have managed to make the profession once again an attractive career for young people. We already have over seven thousand more police officers serving in Hungary than we had in 2010, and this number will continue to grow. This is what has made it possible to have a 24-hour presence on the streets, and this is what has enabled us to almost completely fill all vacancies for local officers. And this also means that the training of border hunters is moving forward according to plan, thus serving the interests of not only Hungary, but of the entire continent. And accordingly we Hungarians truly appreciate you, who are even prepared to accept risks in order to ensure our everyday security. This is why we are continuously modernising the fleet of police vehicles – this year alone spending over 15 billion forints in this area. Today we are presenting you with 387 new vehicles, and our goal is to replace the entire fleet over the coming years.

Dear Oath Takers,

You have sworn in as members of one of the most successful and best-respected police forces in Europe. Be proud of this fact, just as we are proud to have police officers and a police force of this calibre. In the name of the people of Hungary, I thank you for having chosen this vocation. I wish you much strength, health and resilience.