Without V4 cooperation there would still be hundreds of thousands of people flowing into Europe
20. 06. 2017.
In Warsaw, at the ceremonial transfer of the annual presidency of the Visegrád Group, Viktor Orbán said that “If the Visegrád Four had not joined forces, hundreds of thousands of people would still be flowing into Europe without hindrance, thus further impairing the secure life of the continent’s people”. The presidency of the Visegrád Four (V4: Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia) has been passed from Poland to Hungary, which will occupy it until June 2018.

In his speech at the event in the Royal Castle in Warsaw, Mr. Orbán thanked his fellow V4 prime ministers for the assistance they have provided in defending Hungary’s borders. “Over the past two years the four of us have succeeded in not only protecting Hungary, but also the southern border of Europe”, he declared, adding that thanks to V4 support he knows that Hungary will not be left alone in battling for the right to protect its borders.

He stressed that Central Europe has nothing to be ashamed of with regard to its financial indicators, its security, its cultural life or the quality of its democracy. The deal the European Union struck when it admitted the countries of Central Europe benefited it greatly, the Prime Minister said, and “it can continue to expect much from the region in the future”.

The fact that in Europe today there is a “cooperation deficit” and that unity of action is missing makes the Visegrád countries even more important, he said, adding that Central Europe is a region of vigorous countries with shared goals and a willingness to take action.

Mr. Orbán expressed his thanks to Polish prime minister Beata Szydło for her country’s presidency of the V4, adding that he thinks the Group’s upcoming meeting with recently elected French president Emmanuel Macron will be a fitting end to the Polish presidency.

With regard to the Hungarian presidency of the V4, which begins on 1 July, he said that in Central Europe people understand the Hungarians better than anywhere else, and the region represents the continent’s hidden economic and cultural reserves, which “will astonish both Europe and the world when they begin to be mobilised”.

In addition to encouraging economic cooperation, building diplomatic relations and increasing the standing of the four countries, Mr. Orbán asked his fellow prime ministers to also place emphasis on the younger generation, establish scholarships and organise apprenticeship programmes.

“Let us enable the younger generation to also experience what we call being Central European”, the Prime Minister urged, adding that in the long term Central Europe could remain Europe’s most rapidly developing region. “We will be devote Hungary’s one-year presidency of the V4 to this goal”, he said in closing.