Central European countries are not troublemakers, they have simply become better at asserting their own interests, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said on Monday after meeting Slovenia Prime Minister Janez Jansa in Lendava, Slovenia.
Hungary and Slovenia are emerging economically stronger from the coronavirus pandemic, unlike many other European nations, the Hungarian prime minister told reporters during a joint press conference with his Slovenian counterpart.
“The situation in Europe has changed,” declared Orbán. “We thought a few years ago that Central Europeans would not work without Western economies, and that may still be true now, but it has been supplemented by the fact that Western Europeans will no longer function without Central European economies,” he added.
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Orbán assessed that much more equal conditions had been established in the European Union in terms of economic power and interdependence, and that therefore “Hungary stands more boldly in favor of its own right, its own perception and its own plans.”
“We are not troublemakers,” the Hungarian prime minister insisted. “We have only strengthened and we are aware that our voices must be heard in Brussels at least as much as in Western European countries.” He emphasized that the more Central European countries that work together, the stronger their collective voice will be.
An agreement on the development of the Mura and Rába regions — Slovenian-Hungarian bilingual municipalities of Slovenia — was also signed at the meeting of the two leaders, which included the establishment of a common fund for developing the areas. The regions will benefit from €5 million a year until 2026.