Viktor Orbán made several important comments regarding the operation of the European Union when he held a joint press conference with Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer in Vienna on Thursday. A journalist asked the Hungarian prime minister about “following” European unity, and he did not allow this fundamental misunderstanding to remain unchallenged.
“Brussels is not our boss,” emphasized Viktor Orbán, adding that the European Union is not in Brussels, but in the national capitals; the member states do not follow the unity, but they themselves are the ones who create it.
For years, the liberal elite in Europe has been living under the illusion that the so-called European unity, or even European-ness itself, is something floating above nation states, which of course can only reflect the current opinion of the liberals as a universal truth. According to their idea, European-ness is no longer about Christian foundations and sovereignty, yet their current obsession automatically becomes a European value. This is how strained arguments can be created, from which the conclusion is that someone who does not want transvestite shows in kindergartens, or who sees a difference between a Ukrainian war refugee and a Congolese economic migrant, is not European.
However, an abstract European unity independent of the nations that make up Europe does not exist, just like the so-called European identity propagated by liberals, stripped of its roots and leached, does not exist.
All these efforts, in addition to the harmful social effects, also serve to eliminate European democracy. It is no coincidence that pressure is being exerted so that, instead of consensus, decisions can be made with a majority on issues that define our future, including foreign policy issues. Let’s not believe that in this case the only European position called “correct” appeared out of nowhere, it is rather that certain political circles or even a few influential member states want to speak on behalf of everyone.
Hungary is not blindly vetoing European unity, as the liberal press and politicians tirelessly claim, but is simply asserting its rights. It cannot be a joint decision if it is not supported by everyone.
Moreover, when we talk about sanctions, it is not even just a question of Hungary pursuing its own national interest alone. The current punitive measures against Russia have not achieved their desired goals and they harm Europe significantly more than anyone else. In such cases, confronting psychosis is far from only serving our own interests.
Brussels is not the boss of Hungary, nor the other member states. The only way out of the increasingly worrisome situation is a change of strategy, but it is not enough for a single maverick to fight for it: Others also must dare to contradict the bad decisions. Don’t always expect Hungary to take a stand, don’t continuously leave it on its own.
Come winter, it will be too late to regret this.