Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said on Slovak commercial television TA3 on Sunday that the reason why he was being targeted by Brussels was because he stands firmly by the policies of the Hungarian government and the Visegrád Group, which he said were more successful than those of western Europe.
“Some of the criticisms are levelled at me not because of Hungary, but because of the V4,” Orbán said in a discussion with his Slovak counterpart Peter Pellegrini. “They’re attacking us because we’re successful. Let’s not forget that there’s also competition within the European Union,” the prime minister added.
“There are some who are hurt by central Europe’s rapid progress.”
Orbán said the V4 would have to withstand the pressure coming from Brussels, while western Europe should accept that the V4 are currently the engine of the EU economy without whom the bloc would not be experiencing any economic growth.
Pellegrini said that time had vindicated the V4’s solutions to the issue of migration. Western Europe “is also finally starting to wake up and is adopting parts of the V4 positions”, he said.
Orbán and Pellegrini underlined the importance of protecting the EU’s external Schengen borders.
The two leaders were also in agreement that reinstating internal border controls was not the way forward for Europe. Orbán reassured Bratislava of Hungary’s support for the former’s request towards Austria that it review its decision to introduce checks at the Jarovce-Kittsee (Horvátjárfalu-Kittsee) road border crossing.
Orbán and Pellegrini also agreed that it was up to member states, rather than Brussels, to decide whom they let in.
The heads of government branded as “unacceptable” an EU plan to tie funding for member states to their admission of migrants. Orbán said EU funds were not a “one-way street”, arguing that western countries “benefit even more from central Europe’s economic achievements”.
On the topic of Hungary’s “Stop Soros” package of laws passed earlier this week, Orbán said it was designed to protect Hungary’s interests.
Pellegrini said Slovakia was also in need of imposing stricter controls on NGOs and improving their financial transparency.
The Slovak PM praised Hungary’s V4 presidency of the past year, which it will take over on July 1.
Both leaders described their countries’ relations as “trouble-free”.
Featured image: MTI