- 24 Jun 2015 9:00 AM
The Hungarian Prime Minister said in answer to a question from a member of the press: Hungary will not seek assistance with the protection of its borders because it regards it as its duty.
At the summit of the Prime Ministers of the Visegrád Four – Slovakia, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland – held in Bratislava, where Poland was represented by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defence Tomasz Siemoniak, the attendees reached a joint position of rejection against the refugee quotas urged by the European Union.
“We reject the mandatory quotas because we believe that what the European Union proposes is contrary to the principle of voluntariness represented by the European Council”, Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico pointed out at the joint press conference held after the meeting, upon informing members of the press of the topics and results of the summit. He added: they specifically focused on the grave extent to which Hungary is affected by the problem of illegal migration, and they agreed that everyone must take this special situation into consideration.
The second part of the meeting held on the occasion of the closure of Slovakia’s V4 presidency was also attended by President Francois Hollande. The French head of state pointed out in connection with the intensifying problem of the flood of asylum-seekers reaching the borders of Europe: he fully agrees with the view taken by the V4 based on which Europe should primarily focus on finding solutions to the causes of migration. The President highlighted: France, too, shares the view that the refugee quota cannot be transposed into real life. At the same time, he is of the opinion that a degree of voluntary solidarity must be manifested in relation to the management of this issue.
In addition to illegal migration, the agenda of the meeting also featured the questions of energy security and the energy union, the future of Greece, the results of the Slovak Presidency now in its final stages, and the objectives of the Czech V4 Presidency to begin in July.
In the context of the energy union, Mr Orbán stated Hungary’s position: Budapest supports the implementation of an energy union but insists on retaining national competence in issues related to energy pricing and the country’s mix of energy supply. “This means that we see nuclear energy as the energy of the future, and in this circle, this is not at all an alien idea”, Prime Minister Orbán argued.
The Prime Minister told the press: he also informed his counterparts of the Hungarian position that at least one strategic pipeline should transport gas from the south to Central-Europe in the future – which is equally a priority from the respect of Hungary’s national security and Europe’s security. “We are interested in every solution”, Mr Orbán pointed out, highlighting that Hungary does not wish to “go past” the Nabucco programme abandoned by European politics.
After the closing of the V4 summit, the attendees walked over to the Hotel Kempinski where they attended a joint panel discussion at Central-Europe’s most significant security and foreign policy forum, Globsec which also began on Friday in Bratislava.
We are not waiting for a European response in the management of the asylum crisis
The Hungarian Prime Minister stated at the afternoon joint lecture panel of the leaders of the Visegrád Four at the Globsec security policy forum: the Hungarian Government is not waiting for a European response in the management of the asylum crisis as the protection of its borders is a primary duty of the State, Mr Orbán said on Friday at the Globsec security policy forum in Bratislava.
The Prime Minister said: the issue of migration is a highly complex one which has moral, economic, demographic and security aspects. The essence of the matter is, however, that illegal border-crossing is a crime which must be prevented.
Mr Orbán referred to the planned erection of a fence on the Hungarian-Serbian border as a technical issue, and reiterated that the main criterion is the duty to maintain the protection of the state borders.
At the panel discussion entitled “Dynamic Visegrád: Energy, Growth, Competitiveness”, Prime Minister Orbán also shared his view that stable leadership is one of the foremost pre-conditions of a country’s welfare. He argued that – based on the popular theory that prevails in Europe – a leader’s responsibility is “confined to” the management of the country’s institutions, and as long as things are going well, there is no problem. However, once a more serious problem emerges, the institutions do not function as effectively as they should, and therefore we need strong leaders to conquer the most important challenges.
The debate began shortly after the summit of the Prime Ministers of the V4 group and President of France Francois Hollande held in the Bratislava Castle.
Globsec, which is considered Central-Europe’s most significant security and foreign policy forum, began on Friday in the Slovak capital. Globsec was organised for the tenth time by the Slovak Atlantic Commission (SAC).
According to organisers’ estimates, the event will be attended by some one thousand guests from more than seventy countries, including around a hundred and fifty journalists. There are dozens of Presidents and Prime Ministers among the invited guests, including the Slovak, Hungarian and Czech Prime Ministers and Polish Deputy Prime Minister Tomasz Siemoniak as well as the Croatian, Estonian, Georgian, Slovak, Macedonian and Polish heads of state, British Prime Minister David Cameron, several senior representatives of OSCE and NATO, and US Senator John McCain, former Republican presidential nominee.