Every nation must attend to its own security and well-being
25. 03. 2017.
In Rome on Saturday – after the leaders of the EU Member States and central institutions had signed a declaration on the EU’s common future – Prime Minister Viktor Orbán stated that normality in Europe can only be restored if every nation attends to its own security and well-being.

“The penny may now have dropped”, he said, adding that “everyone can clearly see” the situation.

In a statement broadcast by Hungarian public television news channel M1, the Prime Minister pointed out that we can only rely on ourselves when looking for solutions to the formidable challenges we are faced with, and everyone must work on the tasks which present themselves in their own home countries.

“If we want a safe Hungary, we can only rely on ourselves: it is we who must make it safe”, Mr. Orbán said, adding that “If we want to grow economically, we must work harder and better in order to be competitive”.

Photo: Balázs Szecsődi

The Prime Minister stressed that everyone is needed for the task of building the economy, and there is a job for everyone. All such jobs “will not be done for us by others, and no ceremonial declaration of any kind will change that”, he noted, going on to say that “If we can be proud of our own country, we can be proud of Europe”.

Timed to coincide with the sixtieth anniversary of the signing of the treaty establishing the forerunner of the European Union, the Rome Declaration was signed by all Member States except the United Kingdom, as within days Prime Minister Theresa May will trigger the process resulting in her country’s withdrawal from the EU.

Mr. Orbán stressed that the declaration draws up the balance sheet of the past sixty years, of which “we have good reason to be proud”; it also outlines the most significant issues for the future, however, and in this department “we have reason to believe that we have formidable challenges to address”.

Photo: Balázs Szecsődi

He said that the leaders of the Member States “have come a long way”, and the document which was eventually adopted “only bears a vague similarity” to the document which was first discussed. Several of the Hungarian proposals which he had presented are included in the text. “With regard to the interests of the Hungarian people, this is a good document”, Mr. Orbán said in summary.

As examples of this he mentioned references to the importance of protecting the borders, and the principle that the Member States themselves must give European answers to problems, rather than expect the institutions in Brussels to provide the answers for them. He highlighted those sections concerned with the protection of the borders, the importance of taking action against illegal migration and the fight against terrorism, and the commitment to job creation.

Photo: Balázs Szecsődi

Hungary “is today the only country in the European Union which has set out to achieve full employment”, he said, adding that “We do not expect higher living standards for the people and a more successful Hungarian economy to be delivered by benefits, but by jobs”.

He also pointed out that there is full agreement among the Visegrád Four (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia) that labour shortages should be addressed with family policy measures and the establishment of workfare societies, rather than through immigration.

Mr. Orbán admitted that the declaration also features ideas which “depart from this line of thinking, but which are important for other states”. He took the view, however, that the rules of coexistence among the 27 countries also apply to such a document.