Sep 08, 2016

Leaders call for a 'cultural counter-revolution' to fix crisis of values plaguing EU

Hungary and Poland insist Brexit provides Europe with an opportunity for change

European leaders have called for a 'cultural counter-revolution' to fix what they see as a crisis of values plaguing the European Union, the UK's Daily Mail reports today.

Hungary and Poland insist Brexit provides an opportunity for change, warning homogenising the continent would destroy national identities.

"The moment is now - a cultural counter-revolution is possible," Prime Minister Viktor Orbán told delegates gathered this week at a regional economic forum in the southern Polish mountain resort of Krynica.

The prime minister added that 'people don't change, national and religious identity still have their place.

"There's no European identity that could replace them," he said.

According to PM Orbán, over the last 20 years European elites have insisted that "it wasn't modern to be a Pole, Hungarian, a Czech, a Christian or other believer.

"They proposed a new identity - the European identity - but Britons have said "no". They want to be British".

Britain voted to leave the EU in June in a referendum driven in large part by worries about immigration, economic uncertainty and a perception that an out-of-touch Brussels elite was making the rules.

Jarolsaw Kaczynski, leader of Poland's governing right-wing Law and Justice (PiS) party called Brexit part of a 'crisis of"European consciousness".

He insists that deep EU reforms are needed to tackle problems plaguing the bloc, including ones stemming from the 2008 global financial crisis as well as eurozone debt and the migrant crisis.

Other Central European leaders including the Czech and Slovak prime ministers have also urged reforms that would give national parliaments a bigger say in the EU.

They are also pushing for a joint EU army ahead of a key summit in Bratislava on September 16 set to sketch out the bloc's future after Britain leaves.

Read more here.