Budapest (MTI) – LMP co-leader Bernadett Szél and European Commissioner Tibor Navracsics discussed the future of Hungary and the EU at a panel discussion at the fourth Ecopolis Summer Academy in Felsőtarkány, in northern Hungary.
In their debate held at the event on Saturday evening, the topic of Hungary’s exit from the European Union was also addressed.
Szél said even the possibility that Hungary could quit the bloc would be “tragic”, adding that bringing up the subject at all is “a huge irresponsibility in these times”. Hungary has been striving to be a part of European integration for a millennium, she added.
Navracsics expressed doubt that the question of Hungary leaving the EU would ever seriously be discussed in Hungarian politics, but declared, at the same time, that he would gladly vote for the country to remain in the bloc. “There is a need for debates, but it is obvious that Hungary has a place in the EU,” Navracsics said.
On the topic of Brexit, Navracsics said that in the British referendum, national and EU identity were pitted against each other.
Szél attributed the result of the referendum to the lack of a “social European dimension” in what she called a “neoliberal union”. She said both the developed and “periphery” EU member states have been showing warning signs of an impending crisis.
Britain’s exit was supported by those who had felt that EU membership had cost the country, Szél said. This problem is also present in Hungary, she said, arguing that that the country “had become an assembly plant” where low wage earners have no need to get a good education.
Hungary needs a government that wants to strengthen the country’s ability to attract investments and does not let people work for low wages, Szél insisted.
She called Hungary’s October 2 referendum on the European Union’s migrant quota scheme a “tainted political game” which people are not obligated to take part in.
Navracsics said he would participate in the referendum and vote no.
The Ecopolis Summer Academy concludes on Sunday.