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Oct 11, 2019 - Zoltán Kovács

PM Orbán at the Élysée: ‘Hungary’s contribution to European security shows solidarity in a different way’

Prior to his meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, Prime Minister Orbán said that despite areas of disagreement, there are also areas of agreement in which the two countries can work towards unity and a stronger Europe, including border security and a common EU military force.

We could expand Europe’s security, said the prime minister, if we “pushed further south” the gateway to Europe.

Prime Minister Orbán met President of France Emmanuel Macron in the Élysée Palace earlier today for a working lunch.    

One area of agreement, PM Orbán said, is that Hungary and France both want a successful, economically strong Europe. While the eastern part of the European Union is different in many ways from the western half, the prime minister emphasized that we need to find ways of cooperation in order to work towards unity.

Hungary’s stance on security and border protection, according to the prime minister, also remains close to the French position, specifically on the point of establishing a common European army.

On the other hand, when it comes to migration, the prime minister acknowledged that the Hungarian and French policies differ but that there are understandable reasons for those differences.

“The historical traditions of Hungary are different than the French traditions,” the prime minister said, “that’s why Hungary’s contribution to European security shows its solidarity in a different way.”

EU enlargement featured prominently in the talks as well. PM Orbán said that the most important dimension of enlargement should be security. To increase Europe’s security, he argued, Europe’s border areas should be pushed further south.

Concerning the environment, the prime minister said that Hungary, as one of the top-performing EU countries on the environmental front, is a “climate champion.” However, Orbán added, we need to find the right balance between competitiveness and climate policy.

France ranks as the fourth largest investor in Hungary. The economic relations between the two countries are outstanding: 670 French firms employ 40,000 people in Hungary.

Photo credit: vasarnap.hu