23 Jul. — Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orbán gave a lecture at an annual summer forum in Romania. His speech was dedicated to the state of affairs in Europe and will be remembered for the support expressed in it of US presidential candidate Donald Trump in addition to criticism of the European Union leadership.
The Hungarian Prime Minister had also used the forum for bombastic statements in 2014. At that time he announced that his country would build an “illiberal democracy” and praised “successful undemocratic” countries. These words evoked a huge pan-European reaction with ideological battles echoing down through the present day.
This year Viktor Orbán made use of current events to once again put forward his view on the situation.
At the very beginning of his speech, he emphasized that what he says will be seen as seditious in Europe. But he thinks it is necessary and possible to talk about it since traditional, mainstream politics is collapsing now and the crises with elites and democracy are obvious.
“Europe’s current leadership has failed,” concluded Hungary’s prime minister.
Orbán sees four reasons for the way things are going. First, there is the suppression of national sovereignty and transfer of authority to Brussels. Second is the self-delusion of the EU, which believes itself to be a global player. Third is the “idealism” of hoping to solve problems together when it is more effective to solve them separately. And fourth, the series of bad decisions taken by the European Union in the past years (expanding the authority of the European Parliament, transforming the European Commission into a political committee to the detriment of the Council of Ministers, and the method of decisions being made by a majority rather than unanimous vote).
Orbán supposes it is exactly these steps that have caused the EU’s inability to handle two – in his opinion – certainly interrelated problems: migration and terrorism. “Migration presents a threat, increases the risk of terrorism and criminality…Mass migration is destroying national culture,” he said.
It is his statements on the presidential elections in the USA, however, that have drawn the widest attention. The prime minister is certain that a victory for Donald Trump will be beneficial to Europe and Hungary. According to him, Trump has offered good solutions in the area of migration and counterterrorism: creating “the best” intelligence agencies and stopping the “export of democracy”. Europe is also interested in this, Orbán says as it could stand to improve its intelligence services and, in the future, expand cooperation with its American colleagues. As for putting an end to the “export of democracy”, this should mean – in the very least – not provoking any new uncontrollable conflicts and the resultant streams of refugees into Europe.