Specific and difficult issues tie the Visegrad Group of countries together, and it is easier to address them together than separately, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said on Thursday in Kosice (Kassa), Slovakia. So the V4 “still has a future”, Orbán added.
Common challenges include illegal migration, the energy crisis, preventing a recession and protecting the external Schengen borders, Orbán told a joint press conference at the summit meeting of the prime ministers of the Visegrad countries — Czechia, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia.
The prime minister said V4 cooperation amounted to “a success story of 30 years” based on the conviction the member countries had “common interests and many common positions”.
Orbán said the war in Ukraine was expected to be drawn-out, so migration pressure from that direction would increase for the foreseeable future. The V4 demand that the EU take a share of this burden was a fair one, he added.
Migration pressure from the south, he said, would also grow. He noted that Hungary had joined with Serbia and Austria to help each other in border protection, and he had asked his counterparts to consider contributing to this initiative and had received a positive response. Orbán said he would recommend to his Serbian and Austrian counterparts that they accept support offered by the other V4 members.
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Meanwhile, the prime minister underlined that Hungary backs Finland and Sweden’s NATO membership, and Hungary’s parliament will consider the matter in its first session next year. “The Swedes and Finns haven’t lost a single minute because of Hungary,” he said, adding that Hungary was committed to providing the necessary support for their accession to the alliance.
Asked about a Hungarian parliament resolution on the future of the European Union, Orbán said the issue had been swamped by the war in Ukraine, though at the time every country had expressed its opinion, including Hungary. After a debate, Hungary’s parliament voted for a resolution envisaging a European Parliament “with reduced powers”. Rather than being directly elected, MEPs would be selected on the basis of national delegations, he said, adding that this had been a declaration of war as far as the EP was concerned.
Regarding the issue of a pending agreement between the European Commission and Hungary on unlocking the country’s EU funding, Orbán said that “all blocks” to reaching a deal “have been removed”. He said Hungary had struck an agreement with the EC on 17 requirements which “they told us they wanted”. “We have substantiated and implemented them,” the prime minister added.
Addressing the question of military aid in connection with the war in Ukraine, the prime minister said the V4 comprises four sovereign states, “and decisions on military aid is the competence of the sovereign state”.
Orbán noted the V4 had a common stance regarding the strategic goals of Ukraine and Russia. Hungary concurs that Russia must not be allowed to threaten European security and there should be a sovereign Ukraine between the NATO member states and Russia that preserves its territorial integrity, he added.
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