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Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s statement at the joint press conference with Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland Beata Szydło, following their meeting in Budapest

Welcome Ladies and Gentlemen,

According to accepted diplomatic protocol I have to speak first, although everyday etiquette would suggest otherwise. First of all, I would like to say that we greatly appreciate the visit by the Polish prime minister. A visit to Hungary by a Polish prime minister is always a great event in itself, but the current visit is especially appreciated for two reasons. Firstly, important decisions are currently under discussion in Poland, yet the Prime Minister has taken the time to be with us here today, and this is something we value very much. And secondly, there will be a European Union summit next week, prior to which there will also be a Visegrád Four summit in Prague, where we will be working to develop a joint Hungarian-Polish standpoint on important international issues. Another reason this visit is important is that the success of the European Union over the coming years depends on the success of this region, Central Europe. This is because economic growth will be generated in Central Europe, and if it were not for us, if we were not successful, then there would be no economic growth in Europe. Therefore this fact particularly increases the significance of Polish-Hungarian relations, and V4 relations in general,  together with the associated responsibility.

I would like to tell you that we can describe Polish-Hungarian relations as a historic alliance. This is a tried and tested friendship, with a history going back hundreds of years. We are talking about two peoples who value the past, appreciate it and see it as important. Friendships which go back centuries are extremely rare treasures in Europe. In addition, this is a friendship which we do not have to make efforts to establish or maintain, because the existence of Polish-Hungarian friendship is not dependent on politicians. If history so dictated, Polish-Hungarian friendship would exist without politicians, because it is the two peoples themselves who feel a special relationship with each other; it is, if you like, people’s diplomacy and everyday life which provide the foundations for this friendship.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Prime Minister and I have agreed that in the coming years we will further strengthen V4 cooperation. Poland will soon be taking over leadership of the Group, we will also soon become acquainted with Poland’s working plan, and we have set as our joint goal the strengthening of the alliance. I think it is important that economic issues have been at the centre of today’s meeting. Polish-Hungarian political relations are traditionally good, and economic relations are also gaining ground. Trade between the two countries is very high, but we are still not satisfied, and would like to improve it even further. And in fact we would like relations between Polish and Hungarian enterprises to be much stronger than they are today; we would like there to be more Polish investors in Hungary, and we would like there to be more Hungarian investors in Poland.

I shall now speak about what we can do in order to develop the economies of the two countries. We have come to an agreement on linking the eastern industrial regions of our two countries with dual carriageways. The technical details remain to be determined, but the decision has been made. Hungary’s eastern industrial region – which could be seen as extending from Miskolc towards Košice – will be connected by a highway network to the eastern part of Poland. We have also agreed to improve rail connections and have expressed our commitment to developing air transport and establishing direct passenger flight routes. There is at present no direct air passenger route between Budapest and Katowice or Krakow, for instance. This is strange, after all, when one considers the following: here we have two successful countries of key importance to Europe in terms of economic growth; Poland is also a country of substantial size within the European Union; there is a good level of economic cooperation – even though we would like to develop it further; and our political cooperation is also excellent. This lack of links is something we would like to change, and we will be establishing direct air traffic routes.

Naturally we also discussed the changes proposed by the British. We concluded that we agree with the majority of their proposals, but there remain certain points which require further negotiation. We still have a few days left, and we will be meeting each other and seeking to come to an agreement in Prague, so that we can then represent a joint V4 standpoint on the issue at the Brussels summit. This is the united political intention of our two countries.
We have also discussed the issue of migration, and I have told the Polish prime minister that we are worried about what we see. This is not the first time in history that Europe has been defenceless to its south. Greece is incapable of protecting Europe from the south, and so we Hungarians continue to recommend that a new line of defence be established along Greece’s borders with Bulgaria and Macedonia, so that the continent’s defence is assured along this line, and that the monitoring, vetting and screening of migrants occurs there.

We have also discussed transatlantic cooperation, Ladies and Gentlemen, because we are in the final phase of implementing the military agreements concluded two years ago in Wales, and Warsaw will host the next NATO summit. We accept with understanding Poland’s commitment to having transatlantic military units and equipment stationed in the Central European region. We believe every country has a right to voice such requirements; each nation must decide independently on this issue. We understand Poland’s standpoint and we shall continue to take full account of it in future. We naturally also discussed Russia and Ukraine – but more of that later, perhaps.

Dear Prime Minister,

We are grateful that you have been kind enough to take the time to be here in Hungary today. Thank you also for your openness and for enabling us to conclude the political agreements we have successfully decided on. We wish the Polish government much success. Although I would not like to seem like a busybody, and the Prime Minister has certainly not asked me to do anything of the kind, I would like to make it clear that the Prime Minister and Poland can count on Hungary’s solidarity in the face of any form of double standards – from whatever source – and any kind of unfairness towards Poland.