- 12 Sep 2018 8:41 AM
- Hungary Matters
Hungary’s decisions are made by voters, in parliamentary elections. “What you are saying is nothing less than that the Hungarian people cannot be trusted to decide what is in their best interest. What you believe is that you know better what the Hungarian people want,” he added.
Orbán also said that the report did not grant respect to Hungarians and applied double standards. It constituted “an abuse of power”, overstepped authority and the manner of its approval violated the EU’s founding treaty.
Hungary is being condemned by the European Parliament because its people have decided that they “won’t become a country of immigrants”, he said.
“Democracy and freedom for us in Hungary are not political but moral issues,” he said. “You want to pass moral judgement on and stigmatise a country and its people based on a quantitative majority,” Orbán told the EP. “You shoulder a serious responsibility when wanting to exclude a nation from the European decision-making process. You would strip Hungary of its right to represent its interests in the European family to which it belongs,” he said.
Orbán said Hungary and the EU have had and would continue to have disagreements. He said they disagreed on the continent’s “Christian nature”, the role of nations and national cultures, the essence and function of the family and held “diametrically opposing views” on migration. But these differences cannot give cause for stigmatising and excluding a country from participating in decisions, the prime minister argued.
“We would never resort to silencing those who disagree with us,” Orbán said.
“You want to exclude a country which made clear decisions in EP elections, too. In 2009, the Fidesz- Christian Democrat alliance captured 56% of the vote and in 2014 it won with 52% of the vote,” he argued, adding that “we are the EP’s most successful party.”
“Our Socialist and liberal opponents are understandably unhappy about these successes,” he said. “But taking revenge on Hungarians for not choosing them is not fair and not European.” He said the report contains 37 serious factual errors and even the admission that they had failed to send an official delegation to Hungary.
“Our union is held together because we settle disputes under the arrangements of a regulated framework,” Orbán said, noting that he had struck compromises with the EC about the media law, the judiciary and even certain elements of the constitution. However, the current report goes against some agreements signed already years ago.
“If you are allowed to do that and can violate an agreement, then what sense does it make to sign an agreement with any European institution,” Orbán asked. “What you are doing is an attack against the EU and on constructive dialogue,” he added.
Orbán said he was aware that most MEPs had probably already finalised their positions and the majority would vote in support of the report, regardless of his speech. He said the reason that he had still decided to participate in the debate was to state that MEPs were actually passing judgment not over a government but over a country and a nation.
He said they would condemn a country that rebelled and fought against a large Soviet army and made serious sacrifice for freedom and democracy, and also opened its borders to east Germans.
Photo: PM's Press Office Szecsődi Balázs