Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s press statement following his talks with Prime Minister of Montenegro Duško Marković
24 July 2018, Podgorica (Подгорица)

Honourable Prime Minister, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you very much for your invitation. I wish to thank the Prime Minister for the opportunity of two rounds of excellent talks. These meetings were sincere and in-depth discussions, which were valuable for Hungary. In European politics it is very rare for there to be no tactical or strategic conflicts of interest between two countries; and the truth is that there are neither tactical nor strategic conflicts of interest between Montenegro and Hungary. Therefore we can talk to each other with complete sincerity and openness. I gathered that you often define yourselves as a South-East European country – and if we look at the map, this is undoubtedly true. But if we look at a political map, rather than a relief map, everyone can see that Montenegro has the chance of joining Europe’s economically most successful political and geographical region: Central Europe. If you look at the economic map, at the economic map of Europe, you will see that at present Europe’s most successful economic zone lies in the region extending southwards from the Baltic Sea to Hungary’s southern border; and Montenegro is able to join not only the EU, but also its most successful region. Therefore politically we see Montenegro as a Central European country, which belongs to the same region as us, and which in the future may form part of a common economic zone. I congratulate Montenegro on its NATO membership. It was a historic decision. Not only have you chosen an organisation for yourselves, but also a future. Furthermore, Montenegro has chosen a future which includes us Hungarians, as we are also NATO members. I believe that Montenegro has a realistic chance of rapid accession to the European Union. We ourselves went through this process, so we know what we’re talking about, and, being fully aware of my responsibility, I can say that Montenegro is effectively ready for European Union membership. I do not accept claims that there are obstacles to Montenegro’s accession in terms of politics, the economy or the rule of law. If there was the will for it, Montenegro could join the EU tomorrow morning – or the following morning at the latest. And I have promised the Prime Minister that we shall play an active role in creating that European will, so that as soon as possible Europe witnesses another success story. Not only does Montenegro need European Union membership: the European Union also needs Montenegro. EU enlargement is always a success story, and in Europe today there are far more failures than successes. So political, economic and geostrategic reasons all endorse Montenegro’s soonest possible accession to the European Union. I have promised the Prime Minister that I shall assist in the attainment of that goal.

The second purpose of my visit has been to expand our existing relations. After 1990 Hungary went through a difficult process of economic transformation. The Hungarians are an adventurous people, and so we made every mistake possible, and we went down every possible blind alley. Therefore we can give you some excellent advice on what not to do. But on the whole Hungary today is a successful country, showing that we eventually managed to reverse out of every blind alley, and – albeit on a roundabout route – find the path to development. In Hungary today unemployment is effectively approaching zero, our finances are in order, our economy is growing by more than 4 per cent, and Hungarian businesses are looking for locations to invest in. And, wherever there is the demand and acceptance, we prefer to invest in this region, in our neighbourhood – including in Montenegro. So great opportunities lie ahead of us. We are happy to take part in the modernisation of the Montenegrin economy. We have suffered a great deal over the past thirty years, and we know full well that the purpose of the economy is not money, the purpose of the economy is not profit: the purpose of the economy is to enable people to live well. But this can only be achieved if in the process people also make profits. This means that a modern economy can only be built on the basis of market principles – and we are happy to take part in this. And we shall never forget that the ultimate purpose of an economy is not profit; the purpose of an economy is to make a country modern and as liveable as possible.

Finally, Ladies and Gentlemen, we also spoke about migration – because however promising our economic and political prospects, they will be in vain if meanwhile we are unable to defend the territories of our countries and our cultural identities. Therefore it is important for every country to adopt sound migration policy. You are well aware of Hungary’s position: we stand for the protection of identity, and we defend Hungary’s territorial integrity. Should there be difficulties in connection with migration, I’ve told the Prime Minister that Hungary is ready to provide assistance; because when Montenegro defends its own borders it is not only defending Montenegro, but also Hungary and the entire European Union. Therefore Montenegro can claim assistance, which we shall gladly provide.

On the whole, Ladies and Gentlemen, we had a friendly meeting opening up fine prospects for our countries, for which I am grateful to the Prime Minister.