Address by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán at the passing out ceremony for law enforcement cadets from the National University of Public Service
27 June 2020, Budapest

It is my honour to greet the teachers and new graduates from the Faculty of Law Enforcement at the National University of Public Service. It is with special respect that I greet the parents and family members of the oath-takers today. We are all citizens of a state with a one-thousand year history. Buda Castle, where we now stand, is the centre – the very heart – of this one-thousand-year-old Hungarian state. It is here that newly graduated law enforcement cadets are taking their oath to serve their homeland. This is a clear symbol: at the heart of our country is the rule of law, at its heart is law and order. These are the greatest benefactions of our culture, because they lead to life that is secure, peaceful and free. And you, today’s oath-takers, are the ones who guarantee all this for us – and, if needed, you do so even at risk to your lives. Throughout the course of our centuries of history, the motherland has always had sons like you, who saw it as their calling to protect their homeland and its citizens. There’s no doubt that income, career and money always mattered, as they do now; but in your vocation these have always taken second place to the love of our country and our fellow citizens. Before all else there was the feeling, the thought – or rather the instinct – that there should always be Hungarians who are ready to defend their homeland. This is called patriotism. It is what leaders running the state, officials and members of the uniformed services – or we civil servants – collectively feel, and which we can call everyday patriotism. It is the everyday, naturally simple feeling that the country in which one lives is one’s homeland, of which there is only one and no other; and if this is lost, one can only continue one’s life in a place that belongs to someone else, where we can only be tolerated – or accepted at best. This is why we are ready to preserve this from generation to generation – and, if necessary, to fight for it; because this is the most valuable thing we can pass on to our children. We feel that the sense of love for our country weaves us into a common destiny that is great and exceptional, that is ours alone, and the greatness of which we all have a share in. This feeling is especially strong in us Hungarians, and without it we could hardly have preserved the country for so long. Only the Hungarian language can condense the country, the people, the motherland and home into a single word in the way it does so with the word “haza”. During your years of service I ask you to think of the Hungarian homeland in this way.

Dear Oath-takers, Dear Family Members,

If you want to be good police officers, firefighters and disaster relief officers, you need both patriotism and self-respect. Although a uniform may possess honour in itself, it will not replace the personal self-respect of those who wear it. In this regard you are also well endowed: educated, fine, young and healthy, with your lives ahead of you. You have every reason to be full of confidence in running at the gates to the future and bursting through them. But you also need to know that the future which awaits you as members of the uniformed services does not offer the prospect of simplicity. Surprising and disturbing developments are taking place. The health systems of affluent countries collapsed in a matter of days. Rich countries have set out on the path towards financial collapse. An unprecedented firestorm of violence is sweeping through renowned cities. Armed organisations dedicated to maintaining order are being humiliated on the streets and in political discourse. Guardians of public order are being branded as racist. Public esteem for those in uniform is falling, along with public statues. The state and the law are withdrawing from the streets. It is important for you to recognise that Hungary is not such a country. It is important for you to recognise that it will not become such a country. Our country’s finances are in order. Our economy is healthy. People can work and want to work. Our reserves for growth are high. How to cope in difficult times is something we have learnt from our parents and grandparents. We Hungarians are “black belt” crisis managers. No matter how much turmoil there is around us, we are still ruled by order in our heads, strength in our arms, and loyalty in our hearts. You can be sure that we shall never abandon our uniformed services. We honour, respect, and stand up for the people who risk life and limb for our safety and the peace of our homeland. Here in Hungary every life matters. We love a world in which there is order, in which common sense reigns, in which the law protects the innocent and not criminals, in which we protect ourselves from migration, and in which we invest resources in the future of families and children. But survival of this world, which we have created through hard – indeed often bitter – work, and Hungary’s ability to remain an island of peace and security in today’s turbulent times will require your commitment, steadfastness and honest work. You can be sure that throughout every minute of your service you will feel that Hungary is behind you. In your work may your hearts never falter, may you be loyal to your oath, and may you honour your fellow officers and superiors, and – above all – your homeland.

Hungary before all else, God above us all! In your service I wish you much strength, health and great success.