Warsaw, March 2 (MTI) – Hungary “wholeheartedly” supports the Visegrad Group’s statement concerning the future of the European Union adopted at a summit meeting of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia on Thursday, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán told a press conference in Warsaw.
The V4 wants national control over legislative and political processes in the EU to be strengthened and a better Europe rather less or more Europe. The single market and integrity of the Schengen Zone should be retained, according to the statement, and the V4 warned that any divisions within the EU could lead to divergence between member states. Interests of all member states should be treated equally and any changes within the euro zone should not be allowed to cause ruptures within the community as a whole, the statement said.
“We are witnessing the emergence of a new world order in which countries need to define their own place,” Orbán said. He added that the V4 statement would be instrumental in that self-determination.
Orbán said that there is an ongoing discussion about the future of continental Europe. Hungary has to set specific goals and take decisions regarding “our common lives” within the EU without upsetting the balance between states and EU institutions. There have been examples of “the stealthy curbing of competencies” before, and countries have to keep the decision on important issues such as the setting of energy prices, migration, the independent tax system and strategies for job protection in their own hands, he said.
“Discussions are a part of life and we’ll have to stand our ground,” he said. Hungary has always stood up for its own interests and the Visegrad states are sympathetic allies in this venture, he said.
On another subject, Orbán said that the EU applies “double standards” concerning food products, and “citizens of central Europe are considered second class”. The European Commission turned a deaf ear to earlier complaints that some suppliers were dumping inferior products in central and eastern Europe, he said, adding that Visegrad cooperation will take a pro-active role and promote rules to discontinue that practice.