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Viktor Orbán’s statement to the press after his talks with David Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

I would also like to welcome you all. I would like to welcome Prime Minister Cameron here, before you as well. We welcome a rare guest: a prime minister of the United Kingdom last visited Hungary ten years ago. The United Kingdom is a key player in the Hungarian economy, and so, regardless of international affairs, this visit is an important one for Hungary. The United Kingdom is the fifth largest investor in Hungary, with around seven hundred British businesses active in Hungary, employing more than fifty thousand people in total. This means that approximately fifty thousand Hungarian families receive their incomes from British-owned businesses. We wish to thank our guest for the positive role which his country plays in the Hungarian economy. Overall our bilateral affairs are highly satisfactory.

The truly serious subjects were international ones. Of these, I shall comment on the easier ones, and leave the harder ones for our guest. The easier questions include involvement in Syria and Iraq, where Hungary – as a committed member of NATO – is stationing troops, and is also leading training missions and exercises. As a NATO partner I reassured Mr. Cameron that Hungary will continue to take part in these international missions in the future with a contribution proportionate to its size, and we are glad to cooperate with them. We also agreed on the four-point package of proposals which the British prime minister has put forward in the interest of Europe. I can confirm that we both want a strong Europe. We also agreed that a strong Europe must be a competitive Europe. Personally I am not satisfied with Europe’s competitiveness at this point in time, and I support all proposals that can serve to improve this competitiveness. We agree that the role of national parliaments within the European Union should be reconsidered. We agree that all countries – including those outside the eurozone – must receive equal treatment within the EU’s institutional system; and we also agree that abuses in the systems for in-work benefits must be eliminated in every Member State of the European Union – and not only in the Prime Minister’s country. I made it perfectly clear that for its part Hungary does not accept abuses of any kind. The Hungarian government stands up for hard-working Hungarian people making an honest contribution, wherever they are. We therefore ask Britain to ensure that, when formulating proposals, it is recognised that the vast majority of Hungarians living in Britain are hard-working people who contribute to Britain’s economy through their work and financial contributions. If there is to be any change in this area, I made it clear that within the Visegrád 4 there is an understanding that we would seek to discuss any such proposal and to come to a joint agreement as members of the V4. I think there is a good chance that we can do so, and I am grateful that the Prime Minister is also positive about the prospects of an agreement within the V4.

We have, on the whole, completed a programme which has been very successful, fruitful and rich in topics. I would once more like to thank the Honourable Prime Minister for visiting us and talking about the future of Europe in person here in Hungary.