The Prime Minister stressed that it is not enough to raise objections, but it is also necessary to take action. He noted that Slovakia had also done so by turning to the Court of Justice of the European Union on Wednesday.
In his speech, Mr. Orbán emphasised that the Visegrád countries – Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia – have proved that “if we want to, we can stop the influx of migrants”. He also talked about the V4 border protection cooperation, noting that Hungarian border control forces will soon arrive in Macedonia as well.
He added, however, that many who “follow different ways of thinking” were not happy about this success. As an example he said that he also regards the legal procedures launched against Hungary in the past few days as revenge for the fact that the Government of Hungary had dared to reject Brussels’ migration policy.
Mr. Orbán also articulated the Government’s position, which is that the existence of European nations is the precondition for solutions to problems, and not the source of problems – as is believed by many people, who sing “the praise of becoming supranational” in Brussels and “other European capitals of financial centres”.
The Prime Minister listed a number of attempts to attack the existence of nations, such as the reference to Christian origins being deleted from the draft EU constitution, even though “this is a matter of fact”.
He also said that the pressure to remove Member State competencies from the scope of national sovereignty and pass them to Eurocrats is also one of these attempts. He noted that the United Kingdom has been urging revision of the entire European legal system, in order to determine which competencies have been unreasonably – or even unlawfully – passed to Eurocrats.
Finally he also cited the migration crisis as an attempt to weaken nations. He said that in 2015 the European elite decided to take a truly dangerous step by flinging the EU’s external borders wide open to the massive flow of migrants. According to the Prime Minister, a “bizarre coalition” of people smugglers and rights activists was established, which was also supported from the outside by leading European politicians.
Concern over Romanian investigations into Hungarian politicians in Transylvania
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has expressed concern over investigations launched by the Romanian authorities into Hungarian politicians in Transylvania. At the meeting of the Hungarian Standing Conference held on Thursday in Budapest, the Prime Minister also stated that programmes may be launched to help young Hungarian entrepreneurs beyond the borders.
In his address, the Prime Minister spoke about the situation of Hungarian communities in the Carpathian Basin, country by country.
Regarding Romania, he said that the Hungarian government sees backsliding in the area of minority rights and, with respect to the issue of language use, the denial of European rights “to our own communities”.
He further objected to the fact that the process of restitution of church and communal properties has not accelerated. In his view the issue of the Hungarian-language training of medical doctors in Transylvania is likewise not moving towards resolution.
“The investigations launched by the authorities against Hungarian politicians on a variety of grounds also give rise to concerns, rather than to triumphant feelings that the rule of law has prevailed”, he said.
Mr. Orbán said that the Hungarian Cabinet finds it regrettable that in recent years it has been Romanian policy not to seek cooperation between Bucharest and Budapest. He stressed that Hungary has given the respect that is due to both the Romanian people and their elected leaders. “We are now observing with a sense of hope the political changes currently taking place in Romania, and are carefully assessing the situation”, he added.
In the context of the Hungarian community in Slovakia, the Prime Minister pointed out that after the nationally organised Hungarian party failed to obtain a seat in the Slovak Parliament, the government in Budapest decided in favour of very close Slovak-Hungarian economic cooperation, hoping that this will also benefit the Hungarian community living there.
In his assessment, the economic achievements are indisputable, and he mentioned the bridge over the Danube at Komárom as an example, adding that “not for a very long time have Slovak-Hungarian relations been as balanced as they are now”.
With regard to the Hungarian party in Slovakia, he expressed the hope that at the next elections the Hungarian community in Slovakia will obtain seats in the Slovak parliament.
Regarding Transcarpathia, the Prime Minister greeted the fact that, after many long years of opposition, the Hungarian community has finally united its forces.
In connection with Vojvodina, Mr. Orbán stressed that the constructive work which has been ongoing for years is heading in the right direction, at the same time indicating that it is not in the interest of Hungary’s policy on Hungarian communities beyond the borders to harm in any way the unity which has been forged there.
Mr. Orbán told Hungarians in Croatia that he hopes they will have a government in Zagreb which looks upon national pride as a positive constitutional factor.
Regarding Slovenia, he pointed out that Hungary provides Ljubljana with every form of support for fulfilling the responsibilities arising from “modern-day mass migration”.
At the conference Mr. Orbán also said that programmes may be launched to help young Hungarian entrepreneurs beyond the borders.
He indicated that the Government has adopted decisions on the principle of contributing to these programmes with professional assistance, as well as with loans and grants. In addition to well-trained, qualified, Hungarian-speaking workers, there is also a need for successful young Hungarian entrepreneurs beyond the borders who understand and value the Hungarian language and culture, he highlighted.
The Prime Minister also spoke about implementation of a unified educational region in the Carpathian Basin. He mentioned, inter alia, the establishment of Sapientia, saying that they are currently fighting to ensure that in 2016 the Komárom Selye János University is recognised by the accreditation committee – something which is essential for its long-term operation.
These are all very good things, he said, but the time has come to connect all these constituent elements into a Hungarian-language higher education system in the Carpathian Basin. Minister of Human Resources Zoltán Balog has been given this task by the Government, and the Prime Minister sincerely hopes that the Minister will soon present the relevant action plans. He indicated that at the government meeting held the day before they had already decided on the necessary funding.
The Prime Minister mentioned the launch of a scholarship programme in the Carpathian Basin which, through Hungarian state scholarships, will enable students to apply to any Hungarian educational institution in the Carpathian Basin. In his assessment, connecting education, knowledge and the economy is one of Hungary’s most important national strategic issues, and it is therefore right that in Hungary’s policy regarding Hungarian communities beyond the borders the main emphasis should be on education and the economy.
Mr. Orbán further spoke about the fact that a strong Central European policy is able to help Hungary’s policy on Hungarian communities abroad. The current migrant “invasion” has highlighted something which was also perceived before, but was less visible: with reference to illegal immigration, he said that there may be major conflicts within the region, but threats emerge which show that the peoples of Central Europe belong to the same community and have much in common. In summary he said that without Central European cooperation, it is difficult – if not impossible – to serve our national interests well.
The Prime Minister called attention to the good news that Central Europe is the EU’s fastest growing region, while it is bad news that the “clogged-up” Western European economies are less and less able to return to their former path of growth – in fact they are continuing to amass debt.
He also reiterated that, while the country has been compelled to defend itself, considerable building work has also been taking place. Mr. Orbán referred to “increasingly robust” economic indicators, and asked everyone to remember Hungary as it was five years ago, and to compare that with what they experience in Budapest today. If we succeed in keeping up the work, by the end of the term Hungary will be perfectly presentable, Mr. Orbán said.