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Aug 31, 2020 - Zoltán Kovács

PM Orbán at Bled Strategic Forum: Europe is in trouble

Europe is now in trouble, said Prime Minister Orbán, because we still have not identified our new position in the global economy. To resolve the situation, the prime minister proposes to set up a common, European military defense capacity, complete the EU’s security complex with Serbia and make our economy more competitive under the leadership of what he calls the “Central European locomotive.”

Addressing the 15th Bled Strategic Forum in Slovenia earlier today, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán laid out his vision for the future of Europe after Brexit and the COVID-19 crisis. Taking the floor alongside Serbian President Vučić and prime ministers from Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Italy, Poland and Slovenia, the Hungarian PM said that Europe is in trouble because we still have not identified our new position in the global economy.

“We are not game-changers anymore; the game-changers are China and the United States,” PM Orbán said, adding that Europe will not be at the forefront of advances in technology as long as we don’t have a scientific center dedicated to military research.

Before laying out his three-point plan for a more successful Europe, Prime Minister Orbán said that if we want to identify the problems that render us unable to find proper answers, then we should begin by looking in Brussels, not in the capitals of the member states. “The problem is not the member states; the problem is that we don’t have strong common policies,” the prime minister said.

First of all, we need to establish a common military defense capacity, the PM said, to serve as the backbone for technological research. At the same time, we must complete the “European security complex” with Serbia, and, ultimately, we must create a more competitive European economy with a “Central European locomotive.”

Responding to moderator Nik Gowing’s statements about the notion of solidarity being at odds with promoting national success, Prime Minister Orbán said that,by definition,“solidarity means common success, to have success together.”

“You cannot be successful together if you are not successful one by one, on your own,” PM Orbán said, adding that “the precondition of solidarity is to be successful on your own and then you can be successful together.”

Photo credit: MTI/Benkő Vivien Cher