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European Union Hungary Mariann Őry Commentary

We have a year to decide Europe’s common future

Europe should be governed by subsidiarity and common sense

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Mariann Őry

What kind of Europe do we want to live in? What should our common home look like? A series of EU conferences on the future of Europe has been launched, which may sound quite elusive and vague, but the point is that we have a year to “finally settle our common affairs”. In the hope that our views will actually be heeded in Brussels, it is worth thinking about what should be done differently.

During the coronavirus epidemic, nation-states were the primary, most effective actors and if they failed to act in time, Brussels could not have prevented the situation from becoming even more serious. In more than a year of pandemic, many examples have shown that there are problems in Brussels — it is enough to think about the problems presented by joint vaccine procurement — but we can also look back to the beginning of the epidemic when several European countries asked in vain for aid from the Union or fellow European countries.

Even during the migration crisis, we have seen that EU decision-making often works along a flawed logic: whatever does not work on a voluntary basis, for example, must then become enforced. The mandatory migrant intake quota has not been forgotten, and while it has failed spectacularly, it did send a damaging message: an invitation letter to the millions of asylum seekers flowing to Europe and the human traffickers who profit from them.

Let us not forget that while Central Europe, and within it the Visegrád Group, has become the engine of the union, elsewhere in the EU the situation is not so rosy. There have been worrying trends even before the epidemic, and in the crisis, millions of Europeans found themselves in a hopeless situation, losing their jobs and their livelihoods. They should be helped while those in Brussels are discussing instead how to further facilitate and legalize migration to Europe.

When talking about the future of Europe, the issue of security must inevitability be discussed. Mass, uncontrolled immigration is a major security threat in the short term and culturally in the long term. We have experienced how terrorists exploit illegal migration, how traffickers put immigrants in life-threatening situations, how social welfare systems are overburdened and, of course, how ghettos, no-go zones and parallel societies emerge.

Several western and northern countries have faced how difficult it is to deal with this problem when bad decisions were made decades ago. Nation-states need to protect their borders and their citizens, but that requires sovereignty. If we lived in the United States of Europe, we would not have the right to defend ourselves, we would not be able to stop hundreds of thousands of migrants at the border if the imperial center in Brussels decided that they should be admitted.

The issue of climate will certainly be a prominent topic in the one-year conference series. During the coronavirus epidemic, the topic was relegated to the background, but it did not go away. Realistic common goals must be set that do not impose a disproportionate burden or damage on our competitiveness.

The leadership of the European Union does not have to overdo it and, above all, it does not have to have a say in everything. Based on the principle of subsidiarity and, of course, common sense, problems must be tackled at the level that is as close as possible to the people and where it is most effective.

If control is taken out of our hands, we will not be able to keep all the achievements that have made the Hungarian model based on work, family, innovation, and national identity successful.

Let us act against the fever dream of the United States of Europe.