Orbán was delivering the keynote speech at a forum at the 29th Balvanyos Summer University in Baile Tusnad (Tusnadfurdo), central Romania, on July 28. He insisted that Europe's current leaders were "inadequate" and incapable of protecting the continent from migration. The European elite had become bankrupted and the symbol of this bankruptcy was the European Commission, whose days were numbered, he insisted.

Orbán said the commission's job was to be impartial and to guarantee the EU's four freedoms. Instead, the commission has become biased "because it sides with the liberals. It is biased because it works against central Europe and is not a friend of freedom; it works to build a European Socialism instead of freedom. The exclusively liberal European elite denies its roots and is building an open society instead of a Europe based on Christianity."


The prime minister said there was an alternative to liberal democracy and he dismissed the idea that Christian Democracy could also be liberal, saying that Christian democracy was "illiberal".

Liberal democracy stood for multiculturalism and it undertook the model of immigration and a flexible definition of the family. "Christian Democracy, on the other hand, gives priority to Christian culture, anti-immigration and the Christian family." The result of next year's European Parliament elections would result in waving goodbye to liberal democracy and to "the elite of the 1968". Instead of the 1968 generation, the time has come for anti-communist, Christian, nationally committed generation of 1990, Orbán proclaimed.

He said the EU was currently pursuing a primitive policy towards Russia and "a nuanced policy is needed instead". The security of Hungary and the whole of the Carpathian Basin, as well as that of Europe, depended on whether Turkey, Israel and Egypt were stable enough to stop the influx of Muslims.

Orbán set out five principles that were necessary for central Europe to occupy a "worthy place" in Europe. Every European country had the right to protect its Christian culture and to reject "the ideology of multiculturalism". Also, the traditional family model and the principle that "every child has the right to a mother and a father" must be upheld. Further, central European countries had the right to protect their nationally strategic sectors and markets. Countries also have a fundamental right to defend their borders and to reject immigration, he said.

The principle of "one nation, one vote" on the most important issues should be insisted upon, and this principle cannot be bypassed in the EU. "We central Europeans hold that there is life beyond globalisation and that central Europe follows the path of an alliance of free nations."

Orbán declared that immigration would be the single serious issue in next year's European parliamentary elections. He linked the outcome of the elections to the fate of its leadership, saying that when European citizens decide on the issue of immigration, they will have also passed judgement on the European elite and whether it has handled immigration properly.

"There is liberalism but there is no democracy," he said, adding that this assertion was supported by a general tendency in western Europe to curb freedom of expression and introduce censorship. The prime minister said that after eight successive years of a Fidesz government, in the April general election it received a two-thirds majority and with it "authorisation to build a new era". The process of Hungarian unification had now turned into one of nation-building.

Hungarians had shown they were able to understand complex situations. "If need be, we have the will to decide on our destiny and move as a nation. From Szeklerland, I can say that Hungarians from beyond the border have stood up for Hungarians of the motherland." Every vote was an undertaking of responsibility for Hungary.


He said Fidesz's two-thirds majority won in 2010 had entitled the government to build a new system with a Hungarian model for the economy and a new constitutional order based on national and Christian foundations. In 2014 it had been similarly endorsed to stabilise this system. Following the outcome of this year's election, it was time to build a new era and to embed the political system into this new cultural era. "A new intellectual and cultural approach is needed."

Based on this stability, the government had set goals that could only have been dreamed of in the past. Orbán declared that by 2030 Hungary would be among the top five countries in the EU for quality of life. Further, it would have stopped its declining population. Motorways would have reached all its borders, it would have created energy independence and built up its defence forces.

"Thirty years ago we thought that Europe is our future, we now think we are the future of Europe," the prime minister said in conclusion.

Opposition parties slam speech

Hungary's opposition parties slammed the speech for its anti-Europe approach.

The spokesman of leftist opposition Democratic Coalition, Sándor Rónai, said Orbán's speech was a "declaration of war on Europe, Hungarians and freedom". Orbán had created a picture of a Europe torn by a political and cultural conflict between nation states and regions.

Rónai said voters in the European parliamentary elections in 2019 will choose between "a Europe that follows the worldview and nationalism of the 1930s or the united, strong European approach of [German Chancellor Angela] Merkel and [French President Emmanuel] Macron … We do not need less Europe but more of it ... If Hungary wants to live and prosper in peace, Orbán must go."


Conservative Jobbik's spokesman said the speech showed that Orbán prioritised his own European political ambitions over Hungary's fortunes. Orbán "has indicated more than once" that he sees himself as a potential leader of Europe, party spokesman Ádám Mirkóczki said. The prime minister was cynical to declare that western countries are not democratic. It was Orbán who had dismantled freedom of speech and the press, as well as abolishing public institutions that were the bedrock of democracy. Several "allegedly independent institutions" are "stuffed with party soldiers", Mirkóczki said.

Socialist leader Bertalan Tóth said the Christian democracy outlined by Orbán in Baile Tusnad was "far removed from Hungarian reality". In a video uploaded to the party's Facebook page, he said tens of thousands of families faced eviction, health-care was in "devastation" and the situation of foreign-exchange loan-holders was still unresolved. Furthermore, Hungary's public media "spouts propaganda" and entrepreneurs connected to Orbán are "fed public funds from the EU and Hungary", Tóth said.

Orbán's Fidesz party is not independent from the European elite but rather belongs to a party family that provides the majority of officials to the European Commission and the European Parliament, he said. The Carpathian Basin could not be rebuilt without the EU, as this would mean "we cannot speak of central European development, an economic region or the cooperation of free states". Tóth called for a cooperative, socially engaged Europe that protects its borders and finds common solutions to challenges.

The opposition Párbeszéd party said Orbán "only offered" Hungary isolation and division along cultural divisions instead of "openness to explore the world around us". Spokesman Richárd Barabás said Párbeszéd backed Fidesz's goal to make Hungary prosper but the route the ruling party was taking was a bad one.

László Lóránt Keresztes, the co-leader of the green LMP party, said the European Union's "severe operational problems" have to be addressed. What's really at stake in the coming period is whether Hungary can make changes that make the bloc more effective, Keresztes said. The migration crisis was one of the most serious of these problems, but the government should also take steps against a strengthening Russian influence.

Orbán "continues to build an alternative reality where propaganda determines everything," Keresztes said. Before attempting to rebuild the Carpathian Basin, the government should solve problems such as the emigration of hundreds of thousands of Hungarian youth. "This is the real national tragedy."

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