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Orbán: The EU is not a question of belief; it’s a question of emotion

„We do not believe in the European Union, we believe in Hungary. The EU is not a question of belief, but a question of reason”– Orbán told Parliament on Monday. He later added: „The EU is a framework in which Hungary must find its own national interests, and these interests should be reconciled with those of the other member states.” According to the PM, the main task of the current presidency is to find a new path for Hungary in post-crisis Europe.
Former prime minister Ferenc Gyurcsány responded to Orbán’s words on his Facebook page. „The idea of the European Union is more than just a money purse used in common by the member states. I don’t believe that, if we take out more money than we put in, will make the EU better. First and foremost what I see in the idea of European cooperation is peace and the hope that my children and grandchildren will not have to experience the destruction and horror of European wars. I also believe that the only way for Europe to become a successful and thriving economy is cooperation of all its member states.
Apparently, Orbán does not share the notion of a common European purpose. He is calculating instead. For him the EU is nothing more than a geographical landscape. If it yields profit, he takes it; if it doesn’t, he leaves it. There was a saying about the essence of British diplomacy back in the days of the Empire: „The British don’t have any friends, only interests.” If I am not mistaken, Orbán is saying something similar. He doesn’t have any European friends, only interests.
I disagree. Not because Orbán is the president of the European Union, but because he is the leader of a country whose fate is intertwined with that of Europe. If Orbán doesn’t believe in the EU, he is leading us in the wrong direction, against our best interest. His ambition is not that of a serious statesman, but that of a petty populist who plays on the fears and reservations that many people may have against the EU. Or, maybe, he is just hurt because he was made to understand that he could not play around as he liked, the EU will not dance to Orbán’s tunes. But I stop right here. Choosing a political leader is a question of reason and sentiment. Both of these premises seem to suggest that Orbán was a bad choice.

Last Updated on Friday, 30 August 2013 09:11

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