Good afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen, Honourable Prime Minister,
I would like to repeat the first words I said after my arrival here. I thank Poland and the Prime Minister in person for having consistently supported Hungary – and me personally – in recent years. Central Europe places a high value on friendships. We shall never forget that the Prime Minister visited us in Hungary in the final days of the hard-fought recent election campaign, and thereby gave encouragement to us and to Hungarians who believe in Polish-Hungarian friendship. So I am also grateful to the Prime Minister personally. It especially touched our hearts to see here the relics of “Grandpa” [Józef] Bem, as we call him, and to see the reverence in which you hold them. And after also seeing Grandpa Bem’s sabre, we saw that some things are eternal: certain great goals can only be achieved through great struggle. I took this opportunity to congratulate the Prime Minister. Here in Poland things are happening from which we can learn a great deal, and from which we can also derive courage and resolve. I am primarily thinking about family policy. We are also afflicted with the same problem as you: not enough children are being born, despite the fact that our young people – like us and our parents – believe in the importance of family. So we think that there must be some problem with the life of the nation which should be remedied – after which we could return our nations to the path of growth. Poland is setting a good example. I’ve seen your latest figures and results, and we’re trying to learn from them; and naturally, mutatis mutandis, we seek to adopt and apply this policy in Hungary. I’ve also congratulated the Prime Minister on Poland’s excellent growth figures. Wherever I go I cannot repeat enough that in modern politics it’s not enough to be right. It’s not irrelevant, but it’s not enough. It’s important to be right, but it’s not enough: you also need to be successful. If you’re not successful, you cannot see your wisdom put into practice. Poland is also a model for us in how a nation standing on the foundations of historical justice can also at the same time be successful in the modern world. We would also like something like this in Budapest and in Hungary.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Naturally I congratulated the Prime Minister on the forthcoming centenary. We are in an important year in terms of Polish independence; but I’ve come here from Budapest, and back there black humour is obligatory. So I had to add a sarcastic comment to our congratulations: at least one good thing happened in 1918. The spirit of our meeting, Ladies and Gentlemen, was that of an encounter between two friendly nations. We stressed the belief – I liked this idea from your Prime Minister – that we are not only bound together by a shared past, but also by a shared future. We not only have a tested, thousand-year-old friendship, but also a vision of the future, and we are also bound together by our future. And indeed, after our talks I can say that we both want a strong Europe, and we want to take part in the reforms and debates that seek to improve and strengthen Europe. We both want peaceful development, and both the Poles and Hungarians want a strong Central Europe, because we’re convinced that this serves our best interests. It also coincides with the European Union’s core goal of a European continent comprising strong regions; and a strong Central European region can make a major contribution to the strength of the entire European continent. The Prime Minister mentioned that we also spoke about difficult issues. One of these is migration. All I can say now is that for us this is not a tactical issue, but the most important issue, the most important principle of national sovereignty: who shall have the authority to decide who may live in the territory of a country. And, expressing the strength of the Hungarian people’s determination, I can tell you that our parents, our grandparents and our ancestors in general would turn in their graves if we allowed outsiders other than us Hungarians to decide who can live in the territory of our country.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We touched upon a few budgetary issues. In this department we will have a great deal more work to do, because while the Hungarian and Polish positions are similar, a number of countries in the European Union have proposals which are very far from our positions. Here I’d like to mention just two principles on which – if I understood correctly – we agreed. The first is that we want to protect the interests of our farmers; and so we don’t agree with a reduction in the agricultural budget. And in principle we also agreed that while we are not opposed to setting up new funds, because new responsibilities emerge all the time, the setting up of new funds cannot be an argument for reducing old, well-functioning funds. So those must be protected. If I understand correctly, we agree on this issue as well.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
On the whole, I believe that the economic development of the past few months – in which your airline has launched new routes from Hungary – is a milestone. For a long time we have sought a common Polish-Hungarian flagship project – a great economic achievement clearly visible to all – which shows every economic player that we have interests in each other’s markets. Poland has now found this flagship project: LOT is achieving fantastic results on the Hungarian market, and we sincerely hope that it will extend its activities, and that it will operate as an even more successful company in the Hungarian economy by further widening its range of services. We are committed believers in Polish economic players succeeding in Hungary, and we would like to see as many Hungarian companies as possible also succeed here in Poland.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In summary, I think that now – after the third straight election in which I was elected prime minister – it was a good decision to repeat what I did after each of the previous two Hungarian elections: it was a good decision for my first official visit abroad to be to Poland. The only problem with this is that starting with the best slightly curbs one’s enthusiasm for the remaining term of almost four years. But we trust that this four-year term will present some more friendly and joyous moments, similar to these first ones, in which I have had the privilege of being your guests here in Warsaw.
Prime Minister, on behalf of Hungary, I am grateful for your friendship and cooperation.