European values are in the hearts of European citizens
20. 05. 2017.
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has said that European values are not to be found in Brussels, but in the hearts of European citizens.

The Prime Minister and President of Fidesz was speaking in Maribor on Saturday, at the congress of Fidesz’s sister party in the European People’s Party (EPP), the Slovenian Democratic Party (the SDS). He stated that European values are often mentioned in Europe, but frequently as if they were kept in a safe somewhere in Brussels, with “only a few privileged individuals having access to the key”. The truth, he said, is that there are indeed symbolic strongboxes which keep these values safe – but these are in the hearts of European citizens, and not in Brussels.

He stressed that, according to many, “Europe is in Brussels”, and from there Member States can be told who should do what. It is precisely this mentality, he said, that caused the financial crisis in 2008, this is what made the Member States weak, and this is also what led to the arrival of migrants in Europe. As a result, he added, “the free flow of labour has been replaced by the free wandering of migrants”.

Viktor Orbán and Janez Janša, former Slovenian prime minister and President of the Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS)
Photo by Szilárd Koszticsák/MTI

Central Europe is the continent’s gatehouse and bastion

Mr. Orbán stressed that Central Europe is the continent’s gatehouse and bastion: a diverse, Christian, multi-ethnic area which, while “somewhat exposed to the winds of history”, we nonetheless see as our shared homeland. It fills us with pride that we may live here, he said: we are proud of our nations and the historical achievements of each, and also of the fact that we have survived adversity down the centuries.

One thing is certain, he said: we want to remain as Slovenes and Hungarians in the future.

The Prime Minister stressed that we are in the midst of a major European debate: the choice here is between migrants and our own families. In Europe many believe that the problems of an ageing continent should be solved with immigrants, he observed, but he takes the view that “we must mobilise our own internal reserves so that we may survive as a nation, even if it is difficult and more complicated; we believe that this is possible – even though many people want to persuade us otherwise”.

Mr. Orbán pointed out that it is all too often claimed that the borders cannot be protected and migrants cannot be stopped, but the Central Europeans are capable of anything when it comes to their lives, their future, their countries, their faith and their families.

Photo by Szilárd Koszticsák/MTI

On behalf of Hungary and its governing parties the President of Fidesz welcomed the congress attendees, saying that “we are sister parties”, and that a shared set of Christian values means that “we are confederates and allied combatants”.

He said that “we, too, have been both up and down – in government and in opposition”, and that in politics one can never tell what the future may hold, but one thing is certain: today the history of a free and independent Slovenia could not be written without the SDS, and in the future a free and democratic Slovenia is likewise inconceivable without the SDS.

Speaking about Janez Janša, President of the SDS, Mr. Orbán said that the two parties cannot succeed without strong, reliable and respected leaders. He called Mr. Janša a freedom fighter who knows “how far the shadow of a system like communism can reach”. Hungarians also know that the post-communist world has two laws, he noted: “communist comrades cannot be destroyed, they only transform”, and “if we throw them out the door, they will come back in through the window”.

Every nation has the right to decide who they want to live alongside

The Prime Minister stated that on many European issues the two countries have the same positions, including seeing illegal migration as a major threat to Europe, agreeing on the need to protect external Schengen borders not only with words but also with deeds, and declaring the right of every nation to decide who they want to live alongside, while opposing anyone else making this decision for them.

Mr. Orbán gave the SDS, which is currently preparing for the next election, the same advice as his own party had given itself before the first free elections in 1990: “Listen to your heart”. He said that if there is heart, enthusiasm and faith, “there is everything, and there will also be victory”, adding that “We are sister parties”, and brothers and sisters can always rely on each other.

Photo by Szilárd Koszticsák/MTI

At the event Mr. Janša – who had invited Mr. Orbán to the congress and had asked him to deliver a speech – said that right from the beginning his party and its legal predecessors played a part in Slovenia’s most important historical processes. He stated that they fought for an independent and free country fostering good relations with other countries and creating peace and welfare for all. However, they had been unable to fully attain this goal, he pointed out, and in Slovenia today there is no rule of law and the country is once again deep in debt. The former Slovenian prime minister urged a change of government, saying that no reform of any kind there would be of help. The SDS, however, will keep on fighting until Slovenia is the motherland of all Slovenians, he stressed, and until it can be ensured that the country is no longer divided into first- and second-class citizens. He added that soon “the time of reckoning” will come, and that a new chapter in the history of Slovenia will begin.

As Mr. Orbán also said, Mr. Janša observed that Europe is old and rich. Slovenia is particularly affected by the problem of ageing, he explained, but while the left promotes mass migration as the solution, the SDS takes the view that the solution lies not in this, but in boosting the number of children born. He added that the family is society’s most essential core value, and therefore families must be helped.

The Slovenian politician thanked Mr. Orbán for Hungary not only protecting its own borders during the great migration wave, but also Slovenia.