At a joint press conference held after his meeting with his Polish counterpart Mateusz Morawiecki, the Prime Minister highlighted that they both want a strong Europe, they want to take part in the reforms and debates which improve and strengthen Europe, and they want peaceful development. They also want a strong Central Europe, he said, because they are convinced that this serves their best interests, and is also in line with the EU’s core goal of building a strong continent comprising strong regions. A strong Central Europe can greatly contribute to the European continent’s strength, he pointed out.
He added that they also discussed some difficult issues, including migration. He said that the latter is not a tactical issue, as the question of who decides on who can live in a country’s territory is the most important principle of national sovereignty. He observed that earlier generations “would turn in their graves” if others were allowed to make that decision instead of Hungarians.
In answer to a question, Mr. Orbán said that Hungary is being put under intense pressure to enable the migrant issue to be brought to a conclusion at the EU summit in June. He described this as “a nice plan”, but said that Hungary can only accept a conclusion which fully coincides with the Hungarian government’s conception.
The Prime Minister pointed out that today the most important political issue in Europe is immigration and migration, but the Parliament which sits today in Brussels was elected by the European people before the migrant crisis.
He noted that now everyone is aware of the gravity of the situation, and as European Parliament elections will be held next year, the question arises as to whether it would be more democratic to wait for those elections and leave resolution of this issue to the newly-elected parliament. The democratic principle must be respected, he declared.
In answer to another question, the Prime Minister highlighted that Hungary wants to concentrate on the defence of the borders, rather than on the distribution of migrants. “We have a heart, too”, he stated, and “what’s more, we are a Christian nation”, which knows what help means, and which adheres to the principle that help must be taken to where it is needed, instead of bringing the problems here to Europe. He observed that people cannot provide help if in the process they destroy their own country. He added that Hungary provides assistance in the Middle East as part of the “Hungary Helps Programme”, and this work will continue in the future.
According to the Prime Minister, from Europe’s point of view Hungary contributes to resolving the migration issue by defending the continent from the direction of the Balkans.
Mr. Orbán predicted that “we will have a great deal more work to do” on issues related to the EU budget. The Hungarian and Polish positions are similar, he noted, but those of some EU Member States are very different. The Hungarians and Poles want to protect farmers’ interests, and therefore they believe it is wrong to reduce the agriculture budget. They are not opposed to setting up new funds, he said, because new responsibilities emerge all the time, but the argument that existing funds should therefore be reduced is an invalid one.
The Prime Minister described the fact that the Polish airline LOT has launched new services from Hungary as a milestone in the economic development of recent months. For a long time, he said, there has been a search for a flagship: an economic achievement clearly visible to all, which demonstrates Hungarian-Polish cooperation. He added that LOT is achieving “fantastic” results on the Hungarian market, and it is to be hoped that they will extend their activities.
He observed that the countries are committed to seeing Polish economic actors succeed on the Hungarian market, together with as many Hungarian businesses as possible being represented in Poland.
Replying to a question, the Prime Minister said that, as Hungary sees it, economically the EU “is not important because of the money”, but because of market access: the most important element is a single market with fair competition. He stressed the need for a future-oriented EU budget. In fact, he stated, the old EU Member States “on the whole do not donate money to us, but make money out of us”, as a considerable percentage of the funds forwarded to Hungary is channelled back to the contributing countries. He added that economic achievement is not the result of EU grants, but of the commitment, hard work and performance of nations.
Mr. Orbán thanked Poland and the Polish prime minister for the support provided to Hungary and to him personally over the past few years. “Central Europe places great value on friendships”, he pointed out, and he will never forget that the Polish prime minister visited Hungary to provide encouragement in the final days of the hard-fought recent election campaign.
According to the Prime Minister, Hungary can learn a great deal and derive courage and determination from what is happening in Poland – primarily in the field of family policy. Poland is setting a good example, he said, and Hungary is trying to learn from it and adopt the policy.
Mr. Orbán congratulated Poland on its “excellent figures” for economic growth. In modern politics it is not enough to be right, he said: one must also be successful, because if one is not successful, one cannot see one’s wisdom put into practice.
He also congratulated Poland on the forthcoming one hundredth anniversary of Polish independence.
He remarked that it was the right decision for him to choose Warsaw as the destination for his first official foreign visit after each of his past three general election victories.
In Warsaw Mr. Orbán was later scheduled to meet Polish head of state Andrzej Duda, Marshal of the Sejm Marek Kuchciński, and Marshal of the Senate Stanisław Karczewski. The Prime Minister laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and placed a floral tribute at the Memento Smolensk memorial. The latter pays tribute to former President of Poland Lech Kaczyński and members of his delegation, who were killed in a plane crash in 2010.