“I receive some of the criticisms not on account of Hungary, but on account of the V4. They attack us because we are successful. We should not forget that there is competition also within the European Union”, the Hungarian Prime Minister stated on the Sunday debate programme In Politics (V politike) of the Slovak commercial television channel TA3. “There are some who resent Central Europe’s swift development”, Mr Orbán observed. He took the view that we must withstand this pressure, and Western Europe must accept that today the V4 are the EU’s economic engine, and without them there would be no economic growth in the EU.
Slovak Prime Minister Pellegrini, Mr Orbán’s debate partner on the programme, took the view that time has justified the Visegrád Four also regarding the solution of the migration problem, and Western Europe, too, is “finally beginning to wake up and to adopt some of the Visegrád views”.
He added that Western Europe is not used to the situation that the former communist countries, too, may have an opinion, but “we have a right to an opinion” because “we are successful”, and “we protect the interests of our population, our nations”.
Mr Orbán and Mr Pellegrini concordantly described the protection of the external Schengen borders as imperative. “A border is not like some cheese with holes in it”, the Slovak Prime Minister said.
They also agreed that the reinstatement of internal border controls is not the way forward. The Hungarian Prime Minister reassured Pozsony (Bratislava) of his support in its request to Vienna to review the decision regarding the introduction of Austrian border controls at the Horvátjárfalu-Kittsee (Jarovce-Kittsee) border crossing station. The two prime ministers further agreed that it is not Brussels’, but the individual Member States’ right to decide whom they let into their countries.
They both shared the view that it is unacceptable that Brussels is proposing to render payments from the European Union’s funds conditional upon the acceptance of migrants. Mr Orbán stated that the system of EU grants is not a one-way street, and in fact the West profits even more from Central Europe’s economic results.
In answer to a question of the host of the show regarding the “Stop Soros” legislative package, Mr Orbán said we are talking about a very dangerous financial speculator who is using his money to implement political changes in certain countries, including Hungary, and the adopted legislation protects Hungary’s interests. Mr Pellegrini said that also in Slovakia it would be necessary to control the so-called third sector of NGOs more stringently to make finances more transparent.
The Slovak Prime Minister described the Hungarian Presidency of the Visegrád Four which is now coming to an end as highly successful, and said that Slovakia, which will assume the V4 Presidency on the first of July and will lead the alliance until 30 June 2019, wishes to continue its work on the foundations of these results. The motto of the Slovak Presidency is “A dynamic Visegrád for Europe”.
In the discussion both politicians described Hungarian-Slovak relations as very good and problem-free. Mr Orbán said there is a successful process of trust building under way between the two countries, while Mr Pellegrini said that “we have no problems of any kind”.