Jobbik has submitted a motion to the Hungarian Parliament to initiate the establishment of a joint permanent parliamentary assembly of Visegrad Group (V4) countries, Jobbik’s president Gábor Vona announced in his Wednesday press conference marking the next pledge of the so-called Vona18 series.
Expressing his opinion on why the people of the region do not identify more with the V4 concept, Mr Vona said they didn’t feel it was their own since what the communication they typically got from the meetings of Visegrad leaders was that “they drink toasts in expensive hotels” but there was no “real dynamics” in terms of the cooperation. Jobbik wants to bring this cooperation closer to the people by setting up a permanent joint parliamentary assembly of Visegrad Group countries.
Mr Vona emphasized that regional cooperation had always been an integral part of Jobbik’s foreign policy concept.
Admitting that the V4 alliance was currently unstable despite its significance in the Eastern Central European region, he said it should be made more unified, stronger and stable.
“This region needs a flagship,” Jobbik’s president and PM candidate asserted. He added that the V4 alliance was as important for regional cooperation as it was for promoting the interests of its member states within the EU. He stressed the significance of making a joint effort to achieve joint solutions for common problems.
As an example, he mentioned the EU’s east-west wage gap, an issue that had just been raised by Jobbik through the citizens’ initiative for a wage union. Talking about promoting regional interests, he discussed another matter so important for the EU’s future: whether we were going to live in a one-speed or a two-speed Europe. Jobbik stands for the one-speed EU concept. As Mr Vona put it, a multi-speed Europe would betray both the spirit of the founding fathers and the promises made to Eastern Central European member states.
Referring to external attacks launched at V4, he mentioned that French President Emmanuel Macron had taken a three-day tour of Eastern Central Europe (avoiding Hungary) to meet the leaders of the so-called Slavkov Trilateral – Austria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia in Salzburg.
Jobbik’s president and PM candidate emphasized that alliances like the V4 Group did establish such permanent joint parliamentary assemblies before.
He also admitted that Poland had already suggested a similar move for the V4 Group and it had not been rejected by PM Orbán or Speaker of the House László Kövér. In response to a question from the media, he said that the permanent V4 assembly would be set up by the national parliaments and Jobbik would involve the partner countries in making decisions on the particulars. As Mr Vona put it, the V4 Group had not been able to show real power so far but the joint parliamentary assembly “could add gravity to the alliance”.
Talking about the three most important problem areas of the V4 countries, he identified the wage issue, the competitiveness of regional enterprises and migration.
Should the V4 group be enlarged?
Jobbik’s proposal also suggests an investigation whether the V4 Group could be enlarged. In the press conference, Mr Vona stated that the enlargement question had been raised several times in recent years.
Romania, Slovenia, Croatia and Austria had been mentioned as potential new members of the alliance.
Jobbik’s motion specifically mentions Croatia in this regard. “The positive example of Polish, Czech, Slovakian and Hungarian relations demonstrated by the functioning of the Visegrad Group (V4) urges us to promote the idea of investigating how we could involve the other Eastern Central European states into the cooperation, perhaps through the enlargement of the Visegrad Group (V4), says Jobbik’s proposal submitted by MPs Gábor Vona, Márton Gyöngyösi and István Szávay.
In Jobbik’s view, it is particularly worth conducting a thorough investigation of accession options in terms of Croatia, as
the Croatian side has expressed on numerous occasions that it is interested in a closer cooperation with the V4 group.
“A potential enlargement may be justified by such factors as our common statehood of 800 years, Croatia’s greatly similar historical heritage to those of the V4 countries as well as the significant overlap between Zagreb’s and our current socio-economic problems. This is how the region’s states could work together on closing their historical past burdened by foreign invasions, dictatorships and war as well as on triggering a process of socio-economic development and prosperity,” says the draft resolution submitted by Jobbik.
Photo: Balázs Béli
Source: Jobbik.com – press release