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Sep 13, 2019 - Zoltán Kovács

PM Orbán on the new European Commission: The V4 countries have won vital portfolios

Two of the vice-presidents on the new European Commission will come from Slovakia and the Czech Republic, while the Polish commissioner will oversee Agriculture. “The whole region, with the V4 at the helm, is seeing an on-going increase in appreciation,” Prime Minister Orbán said in a radio interview this morning, before talking about enlargement, the European way of life, foreign policy goals and family policy.

In his regular Friday morning interview on Kossuth Rádió’s program Good Morning, Hungary, Prime Minister Orbán began by praising the Central European region’s recent political achievements. In the new European Commission, “the Visegrád countries gained two vice-presidential seats. Never before has this happened.” Meanwhile, Poland secured the Agriculture portfolio, one of the most important policy areas in the EU.

“Hungary has nominated an excellent man,” PM Orbán said about former Minister of Justice László Trócsányi, the country’s nominee for EU Commissioner, who has been named to take over the EU’s Neighborhood and Enlargement endeavors. “He’s a professor, a former Constitutional Court justice and an experienced diplomat who has also worked with the Venice Commission,” the PM said and affirmed that as Hungary resides on the eastern flank of the European Union, the Neighborhood and Enlargement portfolio directly affects us.

“The Visegrád Four have gained vital portfolios,” the prime minister said, adding that we also managed to name a Bulgarian woman to head the International Monetary Fund. “The whole region, with the V4 at the helm, is seeing an on-going increase in appreciation,” he concluded. “All developments have been favorable, good news for Hungary.”

On enlargement, PM Orbán said that had the European Union not had “a blank spot” in the Balkans, Hungary wouldn’t have been the first country where migrants, who made it through Greece, could be stopped. According to the PM, the EU accession of Montenegro, Macedonia and Serbia would increase our security.

Shifting the topic to foreign policy and mid-term strategies, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said that for any foreign policy goal, we must first ensure stability: “Financial stability, economic growth, jobs.” Secondly, the V4 alliance has to be strengthened. The third task is to widen our good relations with other neighbors, and then look for potential Western European allies who share our view on migration. “It has hardly been a week since [Salvini’s] departure. We already miss him,” PM Orbán said, adding that “we’ve been safe over the last one and a half years while he was [Italy’s] Minister of Interior.”

When asked about one of the European Commission’s new portfolios called “Protecting our European Way of Life”, PM Orbán said that the protection of our European way of life should be the number one task for every politician. “If the president of the Commission had been Hungarian,” he continued, “we would have named it Protecting Christian Culture.”

Towards the end of this morning’s interview, the prime minister turned to family policy.

“For me, families come first,” he said, adding that unfortunately, Hungarian people initially want more children than they end up having. In PM Orbán’s view, many people encounter obstacles, material or otherwise, and if they could overcome them, they would be happier and it would be easier for young people to get by. “I would like to have second and third Family Protection Action Plans,” he said in closing.