Orbán vows to fight for nation-state democracy despite ‘weak’ EU favoring federalism to combat demise in global standing

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán speaking at the Hungarian "Summer University" in Tusnádfürdő, Transylvania, on Saturday, July 22, 2023.
By Thomas Brooke
4 Min Read

A “weak” European Union is hell-bent on its direction of travel toward federalism and is attempting to cancel governments intent on preserving nation-state democracy, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán warned in a major speech on Saturday.

Offering his insights into the current state of European politics at the Bálványos Free Summer University in the Romanian city of Tusnádfürdő, the Hungarian leader criticized Brussels for its continuous assault on Hungarian democracy, citing the longstanding battle for the release of Covid-19 pandemic funding and other issues, including EU criticism of the Hungarian government’s media and judicial reforms.

“The EU is either an empire or nations We should not have any illusions: The federalists are trying to squeeze us out,” Orbán said.

He highlighted that while some governments were signing up to Brussels’ desire for “an ever closer union,” this was being roundly rejected by electorates in a number of member states, citing the conservative electoral victory in Italy under Giorgia Meloni, the likely victory of the conservative Popular Party in Spain’s election over the weekend, and the rise in popularity of the Eurosceptic Austrian Freedom Party.

“They openly wanted a change in government in Hungary,” Orbán said of eurocrats in Brussels, adding they want the same in Poland ahead of parliamentary elections later this year.

The Hungarian leader lamented the demise of the Visegrád alliance, stating that Czechia had fallen to the federalists and Slovakia was going the same way.

“The Czechs have essentially switched sides, and Slovakia is wobbly. Only the Poles and the Hungarians are holding out,” he added, sparking outrage among leading Czech government officials.

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“The EU rejects Christian heritage, carries out a replacement of its population via migration, and conducts an LGBTQ offensive,” he added, claiming that the Hungarian government will continue to fight for conservative values across the continent of Europe in the face of progressive and liberal ideologies.

“We don’t want everyone to have the same faith, the same family life, but we insist that we have a common culture, and we will defend it at all costs.”

In a broader assessment of the European political landscape, Orbán described the European Union as “rich but weak,” adding that it “sees a rebellious world around it.” He claimed that Brussels’ attempt to isolate Russia from the rest of the world through sanctions has backfired; instead, he said, it has resulted in Russia cozying up to European adversaries and strengthening their position while at the same time, Europe has become less competitive and experienced a devastating cost-of-living crisis with rising inflation.

The balance of power is shifting from West to East, and current trends, with regard to economic, technological, and military power, “are in favor of Asia,” he added.

Orbán, however, remained stoic and insisted that all is not lost. “We have no choice; we love Europe, we own it, but we have to fight.”

He referenced what his own government is attempting to do in turning around the Hungarian economy, which has been drastically hit by two “meteoric crises” in recent years, namely the coronavirus pandemic and the Ukraine war.

He explained that, despite these setbacks, his government has overseen a tripling of the Hungarian economy over the past 13 years and is “on track” to achieve a figure of HUF 160 trillion (€422 billion) for its gross national product by 2030.

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