The European Union’s procedure against Poland is “unlawful”, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in an interview broadcast on Polish public television TVP on Wednesday night, and assured Poland of Hungary’s support.
Poland has suffered unfair treatment, Orbán said concerning the procedure, which the EU launched under Article 7 of the EU Treaty, and added that Hungary’s supporting Poland is “in the interest of central Europe”.
Orbán suggested that the dispute between the EU and Poland was triggered by central Europe’s recently increased weight in the bloc. Countries of the region want to have “a say in EU decisions according to how much they contribute to the economic growth of Europe”, Orbán insisted.
The prime minister attributed the dispute to the EU’s centre shifting eastward, and cooperation between Germany and the Visegrád group (Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary) getting at least as important to Europe as the cooperation between Germany and France. The West must get used to the new situation, he said.
Concerning disputes within the European Union, Orbán stressed the need of continuous talks, even if there is but a slight hope for compromise.
“True, the 28 member states do not see the world in the same way. While some of them, mainly western countries, would like to enter a post-Christian or post-national era, we stick to our roots and take a different approach to migration,” Orbán said.
Stressing the need to respect one another’s opinion, Orbán said, “we do not want to convince the West but they should also allow us to remain Christians, Polish and Hungarian.”
The prime minister said the EU budget can in no way be connected to procedures pertaining to the rule of law, “they are two completely different issues”.
“Funds directed to Hungary and Poland to a large degree return to western Europe. Thus all member states are benefitting from the cohesion policy. This is not just in our interest. It is also in the interest of France and Germany, they also make money on us,” he said.
Orbán said there are still some untapped opportunities in bilateral cooperation, for which “we can only blame ourselves”.
He stressed the need to establish a motorway link between Warsaw and Budapest, halve the travel time by rail, and step up cooperation in the energy sector.
Establishing gas infrastructure giving access to the Polish LNG terminal is a must for Hungary, he said.
Asked about migration, Orbán said that Hungary would continue to defend its southern border. “Without borders, Hungary would look like an egg without a shell”.
Featured image: MTI