The Visegrád Group continues to have a future
24. 11. 2022.
“The countries of the Visegrád Group (V4) are linked by difficult topics, and they can provide a response to the issues that arise within these topics more easily together than separately, and accordingly the Visegrád Group continues to have a future”, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said on Thursday in Košice, Slovakia.

At a joint press conference of heads of state held at the prime ministerial summit of the Visegrád Group countries (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia), Viktor Orbán highlighted: “Such common challenges include illegal migration, the energy crisis, preventing the economic recession, and the protection of the external Schengen borders”.

“The Visegrád cooperation is a thirty-year success story, and was established because the countries were convinced that they have common interests and a host of common standpoints”, he reminded the press.

“Hungary is in an extraordinary position, because it is the only country in Europe that is having to get to grips with two migrant crises simultaneously”, the Prime Minister explained. “This year, over a million Ukrainian refugees have arrived in Hungary, and this year over 250 thousand attempts to illegally cross the border were also prevented at the country’s southern border”, he continued.

“In view of the fact that we must expect a prolonged war in Ukraine, the migration pressure from there will be increasing in the upcoming period, and it is a fair demand that the EU should also shoulder some of this burden”, he stated. We must also count on the fact that the migration pressure coming from a southern direction will also increase in the upcoming period, and he has therefore informed his V4 counterparts that Hungary has established a new formation with Serbia and Austria, the goal of which is to help each other with border protection, Mr. Orbán told the press.

Photo: Zoltán Fischer/Prime Minister’s Press Office

He also reported on the fact that he had asked his colleagues to consider whether they can contribute to the Serbian-Austrian-Hungarian border protection cooperation. “I received a positive response, and at the next triple meeting in Vienna I will be proposing to the Serbian President and to the Austrian Chancellor that they should accept the pledges made by the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland”, he stated.

The Prime Minister also said that Hungary is supporting the NATO membership of Finland and Sweden, and that Parliament will also be placing the issue on its agenda at the first session of next year. “The Swedes and the Finns have not lost a single minute because of Hungary so far, and they will not do so in future; Hungary will certainly be providing the support required for their accession”, he stated.

In reply to a question, Mr. Orbán spoke about the fact that the Hungarian Parliament has a resolution in which it has written down the kind of European Union it would like. “The war has swept it away, but there was a debate on the future of Europe, and every country stated its opinion, including Hungary”, he recalled.

“This was recorded in a Parliamentary resolution, which states that we imagine a future with a European Parliament that has a ‘reduced sphere of competence’, and which is not directly elected, but instead operates based on national delegations”, he stated. “This is a casus belli in the eyes of the European Parliament, and accordingly we cannot expect to receive a single good word from that direction, since we have called into question the jobs of the MEPs sitting there”, he pointed out.

“All barriers between the European Union and Hungary that have obstructed an agreement so far have been averted”, Mr. Orbán declared.

“We agreed on a 17-point package with the European Commission; they told us what they wanted, and then we drew up concrete plans and implemented them”, he explained.

“We are now waiting for the body to come to a decision at the session of the Commission planned to take place on 30 November”, he told the press. “We have fulfilled everything that we have pledged to do, and on which we have agreed”, he declared.

Photo: Zoltán Fischer/Prime Minister’s Press Office

“An eighteenth request has since also arisen, and we have come to an agreement that we will also be fulfilling that, but the deadline for it will be in March”, he noted.

The Prime Minister also told reporters that the V4 includes four sovereign states, and accordingly everyone decides individually concerning the provision of military assistance; this is a sovereign sphere of competence of individual states.

“There is agreement within the V4 concerning the strategic goals relating to Ukraine and Russia”, he highlighted. “Hungary also thinks that Russia cannot represent a threat to Europe’s security, and that it is important for there always to be a sovereign Ukraine that is capable of preserving its territorial integrity between the NATO member states and Russia”, he explained.

“Hungary is supporting Ukraine financially, and the required money has already been earmarked for this purpose, but we do not support the European Union putting itself into debt”, the Prime Minister also stated.

Photo: Zoltán Fischer/Prime Minister’s Press Office

“Concerning financial support for Ukraine, Hungary informed the European Commission of its position in a timely manner; we told them in advance that we support the provision of financial aid to Ukraine, and that this is necessary and the right thing to do”, he highlighted. “We also indicated that Hungary will be undertaking its share of this financial burden”, he added.

“We are talking about 18 billion euros, and the government has already earmarked Hungary’s share of this sum within the budget, and we will be giving this money to the Ukrainians”, he emphasised. “And we have already given the Foreign Minister a mandate to conduct negotiations concerning this”, he stated.

“But we will not be supporting any kind of solution that takes the European Union forward in the direction of community debt”, he declared. “So, we are undertaking our share of this burden, but we do not want to organise this through the European Union, because we do not believe that it is a good direction for the European Union if it puts itself and its members states into debt with relation to several issues and concerning increasingly large sums of money in future”, he stated.

“This is a bad direction, and we will never support it, whether with regard to Ukraine or any other financial issue”, Mr. Orbán stated.

In response to a question concerning a scarf that he wore at a football match on Sunday, the Prime Minister replied: “Take it easy! A match is a match and politics is politics; the two shouldn’t be mixed up”.