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Viktor Orbán at the Bled Strategic Forum

Marko Balažic: What is politics to you?

Speaking not on a philosophical level but practically, as a leader, may I say that politics, in the Hungarian understanding, is a job for the leaders to help the people – our nation – to prepare for the future. So therefore it means that first we have to understand what this future will look like. Second, what kind of instruments we have had, what kind of instruments we don’t have, and how we can get it. So, to help to prepare your nation for the future.

Speaking about enlargement, I have a question for Mister Orbán. Actually, how are we going to define accession criteria for new Member States? Are these going to be rule-based or value-based?

May I have a remark on migration also?

Sure, of course.

Because probably some of you remember that I was the first one who definitely fought against the concept of the Speaker of the European Parliament from 2015, at the very first moment to say that that policy and that approach can destroy the cultural identity of Europe, will deliver a lot of unsecured groups of people to Europe, that could result in terrorism and many social difficulties; and we don’t have an answer, and we are not prepared as to how to treat that kind of new challenges. So I represent that position from the very beginning. Now, as Afghanistan happened I think that this is the reality again. As a consequence of the dispute on the migration issue inside the European Union, it has created many diversities and difficulties and differences; and I think now we are not able to bridge that kind of gap among the opinions. So the only way – if you would not like to create a situation when dispute on migration destroys the unity of the European Union – the only way is to give all the rights back to the nation state in relation to migration. That’s the only way, otherwise we will suffer a lot. So, that’s about migration. On demography and migration may I say that what we need is not newcomers instead of our own people originally living here. Because it’s just a mathematic approach: if we invite others from outside Europe, that will change the cultural identity of Europe. There are some countries who accept it, Hungary is not among those countries. We would not like to change the cultural identity of our country, so we don’t accept migration as a solution to demographic challenges. We only believe that family policy – the traditional, Christian family policy – can help us out of that demographic crisis. On your question…what was that, sorry?

I think you’ve answered for quite enough. I just wanted to say – how to avoid disruptive political approaches when accessing new countries? When adding new countries to the European Union?

May I have one remark on that?

But really short, please.

I try to be very cautious, because the President of Serbia is here, and the key country is Serbia. So without accepting Serbia as a new member of the European Union, there is no reason – it’s nonsense – to speak about any kind of security and any kind of all-European identity. So Serbia is the key country. And the truth is that we Europeans – European Union countries – need more Serbian membership that Serbia needs the European membership. This is a strategic issue, so the approach would be geopolitical. So we need Serbia because of geopolitics. Otherwise, we will suffer on the security side of our life.

What is your vision of Europe, in one sentence?

I understand that historical analogies are always useful. But those migrants who are coming now are all Muslims. So therefore your experience – how the Roman Empire collapsed – is less relevant than the experience of the Hungarians and the Balkan countries who were earlier occupied by Muslim countries. So therefore our experience is more relevant than the Roman story of empire. And I’m sure that everybody who is sitting here – even the Holy See – is aware that those who are coming are all Muslims, and changing the composition of our continent. And it’s a challenge to our cultural, Christian heritage. On Europe: stay together! So my future vision on Europe: stay together – the question is how to stay together. The precondition is economic success: without having economic success there is no political basis for common values.