We must jointly guarantee the security of Austria and Hungary
31. 01. 2018.
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has declared that Austria and Hungary must jointly guarantee the two countries’ security.

The Prime Minister was speaking at a joint press conference held after his talks with Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache of the Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ). Mr. Orbán explained that in order to provide such a joint guarantee the two countries have agreed that their ministers for security and infrastructure will hold bilateral talks. He added that they will strive for the closest, most professional and friendliest possible relations between the ministers.

He stressed that up until now Austria had an anti-Hungarian government and the Austrian government was hostile towards Hungary; but this has now changed, because the current government wants to maintain fair and friendly relations with Hungary.

Mr. Orbán said that their meeting was necessitated by the fact that the two most important topics within bilateral relations affecting Hungarians – security and infrastructure development – are responsibilities of the smaller coalition party. He pointed out that Hungary strives to maintain friendly relations with everyone with whom it shares common goals and who help to protect Hungary. The Prime Minister added that in recent years Hungary has learned that the two countries can and should be jointly defended, and it is grateful to Austria for having provided assistance towards its border defence – with which Hungary has also defended Austria.

Mr. Strache highlighted that friendly relations between Hungary and Austria must be developed and further deepened.

He explained that he and Mr. Orbán had agreed that the migrant quotas tabled by the EU must be rejected, that distribution of migrants is not viable, that no county can be required to admit a set number of migrants, and that the protection of the EU’s external borders must be guaranteed. He went on to say that in recent years Hungary’s migration and refugee policies have been extremely important, that without the responsibility undertaken by Viktor Orbán it would have been impossible to protect the European Union’s external borders, and that closure of the Balkan migration route was made possible by Hungary’s consistent policies.

Mr. Strache stated that the fight against illegal migration and action in the interests of European subsidiarity are important joint Hungarian-Austrian concerns.

The Vice-Chancellor told the press that he and Mr. Orbán had also discussed common goals, infrastructure, economic cooperation, digitalisation, innovation and transport links.

Photo: Szilárd Koszticsák/MTI

Mr. Strache said Austria will strive to maintain good cooperation with its neighbours, including with the countries of the Visegrád Group.

In relation to family support, he declared that the issue must be regulated at EU-level, and that a solution must be found that is in accordance with European law.

In reply to a question, the Vice-Chancellor also spoke about the fact that in 2015 there were catastrophic developments in bilateral relations due to the Austrian government at that time. Even Austria’s former chancellor used disrespectful language with regard to Hungary, although he should already have been expressing gratitude for Hungary’s defence of European borders in accordance with regulations. Viktor Orbán not only focuses on Hungary’s interests, Mr. Strache said, but he also thinks as a European.

Mr. Orbán answered another question by explaining that in Hungary’s opinion the countries of Europe have a choice between two paths: either they can become immigrant countries, admit a large number of Muslim communities and establish mixed societies; or they can protect their cultural identity and Christian culture and not create mixed populations and parallel systems within their societies. Hungary has taken the latter path, he explained, and accordingly it does not admit migrants; he added that, as has always been the case, “we give protection to people who have the right to protection”, but migrants may not come to Hungary.

In reply to a question about the OLAF investigation concerning Elios Zrt., Mr. Orbán said that in such cases Hungary’s standpoint is clear: the required procedures must be conducted, and that will also happen on this occasion. He added that he does not deal with business affairs.