2018 will be the year for restoring the people’s will, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán stated on Friday in the Seeon Cloister Church in Germany, on the second day of the three-day meeting of the Bundestag members of the Christian Social Union (CSU).
After their talks, the Hungarian Prime Minister held a joint press conference with Bavarian Minister-President Horst Seehofer where he said that the European people have a clear will.
“The people’s will is clear”: the people do not want to live under the threat of terrorism, they want security, they want their borders to be protected, and they want their leaders to take those people out of the Schengen Area who have no reason to be there. They should be taken back to a place where they can start a new life, he added.
Mr Orbán stressed: “Right from the beginning we have stood on the foundations of the protection of the borders and compliance with the Schengen regulations. We stood on the foundations of the Schengen regulations, built a fence, for instance, and reinforced our border controls when there were places in Europe where chaos and illegality were being celebrated”, he said.
He stated that the migrant issue had become a democracy problem in Europe, and pointed out that the European people have a clear will.
Mr Orbán said he highlighted at the meeting that the issue of the past few years was whether it was possible to open the way for and enforce the people’s will.
Leaders in many places in Europe did not do what the people wanted, the Hungarian Prime Minister said, observing that “at times like this a state of confusion emerges in politics”, and this contradiction must be resolved somehow.
“I told my friends in Bavaria that, in my view,
2018 will be the year for restoring the people’s will in Europe”,
Mr Orbán stressed.
The European people will enforce their will and ensure step by step that decisions are made which serve their best interests on the issue of migration, he pointed out.
The Prime Minister said he had learnt a great deal from Horst Seehofer. One of the important rules is that no rights of any kind can be built on the foundations of illegality, and laws must at all times be observed to the letter. The greater the pressure and challenge, the more precisely they must be observed, he added.
Hungary understood that rule, the Prime Minister pointed out.
Mr Orbán said he made it clear to his Bavarian partners that Hungary continues to stand on the foundations of legality.
“You should continue to look upon me as captain of Bavaria’s border stronghold. Bavaria’s southern border lies at the Serbian-Hungarian border, and when we protect that border, we also protect Bavaria”, he stated.
Bavarians and Hungarians are tied together by a long-standing and deep relationship: so long-standing that it stretches all the way from the family of the first Hungarian Christian royal family to the Audi factory in Győr, he stressed. He said that the intensity of this relationship reaches the depths of friendship.
“I have never observed any ill will in Bavaria towards the Hungarian people, Hungary or the Hungarian Government. I have always had sincere, open and fair talks here, and today was no exception”, he said.
I do not wish to be disrespectful and interfere with German internal politics, Mr Orbán stated.
He said that “our posture is fundamentally a posture of respect”.
German debates will be conducted by German people, and German decisions will be adopted by German politicians.
“I wish you all the very best with the talks regarding this”, he added.
The Prime Minister said that they also spoke about economic issues. Bilateral relations are excellent, but they found new areas to which relations could be extended, he indicated.
The parties also touched upon the future of the European economy. Mr Orbán concluded that there is full agreement between CSU and the Hungarian governing parties.
One cannot live off someone else’s money, and everyone has to generate their own performance.
Sovereign debts must be reduced, budget deficits must be kept below 3 per cent, and everyone has to carry out labour market reforms at home: this is every Member State’s “homework”, he listed.
This national responsibility must be taken on. One cannot support reforms which would replace national responsibility with national irresponsibility and would want to dissolve national responsibility into some kind of pan-European responsibility, he stressed.
Mr Orbán thanked Horst Seehofer for his “splendid” December speech. This voice had been expected for a very long time. The statement that Bavaria was, is and will remain a Christian country was received with appreciation.
“As far as I can see the debates on the future have common intellectual foundations, and so I expect exciting and productive discussions in the future as well”, he said.
Bavaria’s example has always been encouragement for Hungary. We too would like to be as successful as the Bavarians. We are seeking to find that path which takes time, but the Hungarian economy is on a path today that we can be proud of, Mr Orbán highlighted.
He said he had made it clear that they had succeeded in building the structure of the Hungarian economy on the foundations of the performance of the Hungarian people.
“We are asking for partnership, and looking for business cooperation”, the Hungarian Prime Minister concluded his speech.
Seehofer said he would head efforts to intensify cooperation between Bavaria and central European nations.
Bavaria has a vested interest in closer ties as its trade turnover with the Visegrad Four countries surpassed even the one between France and Britain, he said.
Alexander Dobrindt, leader of the CSU parliamentary group, that “Hungary is defending [the EU’s] external borders in line with the rule of law”. As a member of the EU, the Schengen area and NATO, Hungary “is an important negotiator of strategic issues on European level”.
According to the official programme, Mr Orbán delivered a speech at the group meeting of CSU during the course of the day, and then had a private meeting with Manfred Weber, Chairman of the European People’s Party (EPP) group at the European Parliament.
The lunch held jointly with Horst Seehofer was also attended by Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó, Antal Rogán, the Minister heading the Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister, Minister of Human Capacities Zoltán Balog, Gergely Gulyás, head of the parliamentary group of Fidesz and József Szájer, Member of the European Parliament for Fidesz.
Photo: Balázs Szecsődi
Source: Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister/MTI