The issue of identity will increasingly be in the focus of political disputes in Europe, and perhaps even beyond the continent, in the years ahead, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said on Friday.
The migration crisis in Europe has especially intensified this issue and the way various political powers relate to nations and religious communities has become a matter of key importance, Orbán told a forum focusing on the dialogue between politics and religion during a conference of Centrist Democrat International (CDI) in Budapest.
The European Commission and the European political elite have identified with an interpretation of history in which wars and conflicts of the 20th century in Europe were caused by nationalism which in turn is rooted in national identities, Orbán said. However, Hungary’s position is that the conflicts were caused not by nationalism but by efforts to build empires, which disrespected national identities. Therefore, Brussels should not aspire to building an empire of the united states of Europe, Orbán said.
Most international NGOs financed from abroad operating in Hungary represent an ideology according to which Europe has progressed beyond the issue of nations, religious communities and faith.
According to this approach, the issue of identity generates conflict. Those that pursue this approach stand against religion and national ambitions.
Orbán described CDI’s approach as pragmatic, considering identity as a given characteristic and not wanting to change it. According to this approach, when a nation expresses its wish it must not be neglected, he added. CDI wants a peaceful world, the precondition for which is that everyone should be allowed to freely express and nurture their identity, he said.
Orbán said that the proportion of religious people in Europe has been on the decline. Still, the latest figures in Hungary show that more than 70 percent of people believe it important to protect Christian culture, which is the government’s job, he added.
Brussels’ policies and the United Nations’ migration package are based on the assumption that the age of identities is over, the world is being transformed by mass migration and this should be accepted, he said.
When Hungary decided that it would stop migrants at the country’s southern borders, it came under attack because it went against this approach, Orbán said.
“In order to preserve our Christian culture, we must build not only physical but also psychological lines of defence”, he added.
Those that encourage migration must be restrained, “it is necessary to engage in debate and stand up in defence of our interests,” he said.
“The approach we represent is gradually spreading in Europe” and the number of countries that join forces to protect the family, the nation and religious identity is on the increase, Orbán said.