If V4 are able to grow together, they will become influential actors of European politics
08. 10. 2020.
The Visegrád Four (V4) must try to grow and gain in strength together because if they are able to do that, then the world economy and world politics will have Central European players, and they will become influential actors in European politics, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said on Thursday at the opening of the Budapest branch office of the Polish company R4S.

At the event of the company specialising in public affairs and public relations activities, the Prime Minister drew attention to the fact that trade and economic relations between Germany and the V4 (Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia) are growing faster than German-Chinese relations.

This underlines the fact that “this is where dynamic development is, this is where the future is, this is where growth is,” and the V4 must seize this opportunity, Mr Orbán said.

The Prime Minister also mentioned that in politics and culture Hungarian-Polish cooperation is good; however, economic relations between the two countries are rather poor, and in his view, the main reason for this is that the two nations do not speak each other’s languages.

Hungarians do not learn Polish, learning Hungarian “is a rather hopeless enterprise,” “we don’t want to speak Russian, we’ve already had that,” “they don’t want German either,” so we are left with English, he said, adding that sooner or later the elite of Hungarian and Polish business life will have to build a robust system of relations, similar to political relations, based on the foundations of the English language.

He said he is happy about the appearance of R4S in Hungary because he hopes that the company will create a structure for those relations through its consulting work.

We have a great need for personal relations in the economy, he continued, because “in the game currently under way the stakes are high”.

The region between Russia and Germany will either be organised by the nations living there together, or by someone else, and there are always plenty of volunteers, the Prime Minister said.

He also said the Western European answer to the question of what we want to live off is credit; the Central Europeans’ answer is work.

“If the V4 are able to format that answer well, regardless of the crises that emerge in the European economy, the V4 will be successful,” he pointed out.

The Western European answer to the question of how we want to live is also different from that of Central Europe, Mr Orbán continued, but Westerners still believe they are dominant enough to answer this question for the Central Europeans as well.

In his view, “beyond doubt, there is an attempt at intellectual oppression in Europe today,” which can be best traced through the debates on migration, freedom of the press and the rule of law.

And “unless we stand together, unless we state together that we want to lead our lives as it follows from Polish and Hungarian history, unless we state loud and clear that we want to preserve our culture on national foundations, the ethnic composition of our countries […] and that we regard the nation and family as the basis of the future,” then others will tell us how to live differently, he said.

He stressed at the same time that there are common Central European answers to both the questions of what to live off and how to live, and if we organise ourselves and stand for these answers together, we will be able to realise our plans and the region will remain the world economy’s most dynamically developing region.

In conclusion, the Prime Minister said Hungarians must accept that if they want to take part in the organisation of Central Europe, they must arrange themselves around a “Polish flagship” and the Polish must take the responsibility that stems from this, ensuring that they have enough strength for the whole of Central Europe.