EASTERN EUROPE IS WEAKENING THE EU, PRE-BREXIT
“THE COMMISSION’S DAYS ARE NUMBERED”
HUNGARY’S VIKTOR ORBAN SLAMS EU IN POSSIBLE BREXIT DIVIDEND
“Central Europe’s path is the path of an alliance of free nations”
In his fourth term as Prime Minister of Hungary, Brexit Facts4EU.Org takes a look at the defiant views of Viktor Orban and how they could help Brexit, if the UK had a pro-Brexit Prime Minister.
In particular we will consider the re-emergence of Eastern Europe – mostly former Soviet bloc member states – and how the region’s values and ambitions cannot be easily reconciled with the EU as currently structured.
“The European elite has failed, and the European Commission is the symbol of that failure. This is the bad news. The good news is that the European Commission’s days are numbered.”
So said Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, during a keynote speech delivered in a predominantly Hungarian part of Romania at the end of last week.
Speaking to a gathering of ethnic Hungarians in what was once part of Hungary, Mr Orban set out a vision of Europe which runs entirely counter to the direction of the EU elites based in Brussels, Berlin, Paris, the Hague and other Western European capitals.
The latest re-election of his Fidesz party coalition government produced a result giving him 2/3rds of the seats in the Hungarian parliament.
THE RELEVANCE TO BREXIT
There are significant elements to the political philosophy of Viktor Orban and his ruling Fidesz party which echo some of the views of a substantial proportion of those who voted Leave in the UK’s Referendum on EU membership in 2016.
On uncontrolled mass immigration and the concept of the nation state, Mr Orban’s words at Tusnádfürdő on Saturday would not have been out of place at a pro-Brexit rally in the UK. We summarize these below.
MY ENEMY’S ENEMY IS MY FRIEND
What is of interest for Brexiteers, is the growing rhetoric coming from across the EU which challenges the core of the EU mindset, beliefs, and the entire direction of the EU’s ‘Projekt’ of ever closer union.
Embodying this, Mr Orban could be said to be opening a ‘second front’ against the EU hierachy, drawing away resources and weakening it, as it tries to act tough with Britain and tries to proclaim its ‘unity’ and ‘solidarity’.
Hungary is a key member of the Visegrad Group, which makes Mr Orban even more of a problem for the EU elites.
SO WHAT DID VIKTOR ORBAN SAY ON SATURDAY?
VIKTOR ORBAN’S SPEECH, 28 JULY 2018
“Central Europe is a region which also has a special culture. It is different from Western Europe”
“Every European country has the right to defend its Christian culture, and the right to reject the ideology of multiculturalism”
“Every country has the right to defend the traditional family model, and is entitled to assert that every child has the right to a mother and a father”
“Every Central European country has the right to defend the nationally strategic economic sectors and markets which are of crucial importance to it”
“Every country has the right to defend its borders, and it has the right to reject immigration”
“Every European country has the right to insist on the principle of one nation, one vote, on the most important issues and that this right must not be denied in the European Union”
“We Central Europeans claim that there is life beyond globalism, which is not the only path”
“Central Europe’s path is the path of an alliance of free nations”
“The European elite dismissed the US president’s goal to transform the multilateral world order – the world order based on multilateral agreements – into a system based on bilateral agreements”
“The US president has made good on his promises”
On the world we live in:
“Civilizations are entities of a spiritual nature. They are formed from the spirit of religion, the spirit of creative arts, the spirit of research and the spirit of business enterprise. These are the spirits that can form a civilization”
“There is censorship, and political ‘correctness’ is forced upon us”
On the EU:
“Instead of the spirit of business, today Brussels and economic regulations are ruled by the spirit of bureaucracy”
“We must face up to the fact that Europe’s leaders are inadequate, and that they’ve been unable to defend Europe against immigration”
“The European elite has failed, and the European Commission is the symbol of that failure. This is the bad news. The good news is that the European Commission’s days are numbered”
“Today the European Commission is partisan, because it sides with the ‘liberals’. It is biased, because it is working against Central Europe and is not a friend of freedom…”
On traditional values:
“In Christian Europe there was honour in work, man had dignity, men and women were equal, the family was the basis of the nation, the nation was the basis of Europe, and states guaranteed security. In today’s ‘open society’ Europe there are no borders; European people can be readily replaced with immigrants; the family has been transformed into an optional, fluid form of cohabitation; the nation, national identity and national pride are seen as negative and obsolete notions; and the state no longer guarantees security in Europe. In fact, in ‘liberal’ Europe being European means nothing at all: it has no direction and it is simply form devoid of content”
“The situation in the West is that there is ‘liberalism’, but there is no democracy”
“In Western Europe censorship and restrictions on freedom of speech have become general phenomena”
“’Liberals’ see diversity of opinion as important up until the point that they realize, to their shock, that there are opinions which are different from theirs”
“Christian democratic politics means that the ways of life springing from Christian culture must be protected. Our duty is not to defend the articles of faith, but the forms of life that have grown from them”
WHAT IS THE VISEGRAD GROUP?
The Visegrad Group of four Eastern European member states of the EU is named for the Hungarian town of Visegrad, where the group held its inaugural meeting.
The group is a formal alliance between Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia. All four are members of the EU as well as NATO, and have been working together on their agenda for economic, cultural, energy and military cooperation.
Since the formation of the conservative-nationalist coalition government in Austria in October of last year, ties between the Visegrad Group and Austria have clearly strengthened, with Austrian Chancellor Kurz attending its latest summit.
Dialogue is also happening with the new eurosceptic Italian nationalist government of Luigi di Maio and Matteo Salvini, since it was formed on 31 May this year.
In particular, common ground exists between the Visegrad Group, Austria, Italy, and even the Bavarian CSU government (part of Merkel’s coalition government), on the key question of EU immigration policy. This is also true of the Sweden Democrats – now the most popular party in ‘liberal’ Sweden and likely to come top in their general election next month.
HOW THE EU MACHINE IS BEING OVERLOADED
The Central European member states are starting to occupy more and more of the EU Commission’s and EU Council’s time. The Commission is taking formal and serious action against some of the countries, in relation to their domestic policies and programmes. The reaction of Poland and Hungary in particular has been robust and defiant.
“POLAND IS NOT NEEDED BY THE EU”
These problems for the EU have steadily been escalating. One year ago this week we reported on EU Council President Donald Tusk’s appearance at a Polish court, where he was barely able to contain his anger.
Interviewed outside the Warsaw court, Tusk said: “There is a question mark over Poland’s European future today.”
“I do understand the emotions of Poles who are concerned about courts, or Poland’s future in the EU.”
Poland’s former prime minister continued: “It smells like an introduction to an announcement that Poland does not need the European Union and that Poland is not needed by the EU.”
“I am afraid we are closer to that moment.”
With an unprecedented invocation of Article 7 of the EU Treaty, the EU Commission is now pursuing Poland through the Court of Justice of the EU (ECJ). The rebellious countries of the Visegrad Group have been threatened with having their EU funding withdrawn if they don’t start doing what Brussels wants.
IF IT WEREN’T FOR THE BILLIONS IN FUNDING….
In all of this it’s important to recognize that the countries we are talking of have been massive net beneficiaries of the largesse of Germany, the UK, and the small number of other countries which fund the EU in net terms.
Poland is by far the biggest net beneficiary of EU funds, receiving 8.6 billion euros net in 2017 alone, according to EU Commission data. Hungary received 3.1 billion net.
Were it not for the tens of billions which the EU budget has been pouring into the former communist Eastern European member states since they joined, it seems unlikely that these countries would retain much allegiance to the EU as currently constituted.
Just as we deplore Theresa May’s apparent lack of understanding of the mindset of the EU Establishment, and of the politicians of other Western European countries, so it is important to view the comments of Viktor Orban in the context of a man who spoke publicly the year before the Berlin wall came down, calling on Russian military forces to leave Hungary.
This is how Viktor Orban was greeted by a clearly inebriated EU Commission President Juncker at the start of an EU summit last year.
There are concerns about the state of democracy in some EU member states, but these must be viewed against some of the actions and policies now being pursued by the EU. The latest attacks on freedom of speech on the internet are a classic example of this.
As the old saying has it: “People in glass houses…”
YOU CAN VOTE ALL YOU WANT BUT IT WON’T CHANGE A THING
Readers only have to look at the number of referenda in EU member states which have been ignored and/or overturned in recent years, because the people voted the ‘wrong’ way. Here is just one example that most people have never heard of:
A referendum took place on 6th April 2016 in Holland about the ‘EU-Ukraine Association Agreement’. This was rejected by the Dutch people by 61%-39%. Months of discussions took place between the Dutch government and the EU. As ever with the EU, a fudge was organized whereby some wording was changed in the Agreement.
On 30 May 2017 the Dutch Senate gave final approval to the deal. The Dutch people were not given a further say on the matter.
For the past two years this anti-democratic approach has been clearly observable in the United Kingdom too, and some statements by MPs have been simply deplorable. MPs who can’t respect the vote of the people have no right to hold office.
When it comes to the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement, do not be surprised if the governments of Hungary, Poland and the other countries toe the line. Like Mr Trump in the USA, they will be putting the interests of their own countries first. This means keeping a very keen eye on the financial settlement of almost £40 billion which Theresa May wants to give away to the EU. After all, it’s countries like those in Eastern Europe who will be the biggest beneficiaries.
If the Prime Minister had any enthusiasm for a clean Brexit, she should have arranged a meeting with the Visegrad Group by now.