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Sep 26, 2018

Opening speech of Viktor Orbán at the EuroSkills Championship

Budapest, 25th September 2018

Dear Madame President, dear Mr. President, good evening, Ladies and Gentlemen, 

I would respectfully like to welcome our guests in Budapest, the capital of the Danube. I would like to welcome the contestants, their teachers and their accompanying teams. We are also pleased to welcome the competitors of Russia, Montenegro and Kazakhstan in addition to the participants from EU countries.

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

Hungary is the home of world-class workers. We are proud of them and appreciate their work. If you visit the Hungarian parliament, which is considered one of the most beautiful buildings in Europe, you will see that it is decorated with the sculptures of different crafts. Lawmakers get to see the people who build Hungary every day. We have to remind ourselves every day that Hungary is a country that doesn’t have any raw materials, or natural resources. Therefore we Hungarians can only rely on our intellectual and physical strength, our knowledge and our work, our minds and our arms. Everything you see in this country is the result of the fact that our forefathers always carried out their work with diligence.

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

All of the young people here tonight are part of a crucial competition. And I’m not just thinking about the contests of the next few days. There is a greater challenge here. A contest between the different continents of the world. The formula is simple. Europe’s population is aging and shrinking, therefore, Europe faces a serious competitive disadvantage today. The only way to overcome this disadvantage is by training excellent professionals. Europe can only get it’s strength back if we raise and train the best skilled workers of the world. This means that your talent, knowledge and diligence are the gold standard of Europe’s competitiveness.

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen, dear Guests,

Mathematics is an important part of your professions and as a matter of fact it is an important part of life. The mathematics of life has some basic formulas. If there are no young people, there is no future. If children are born, and there are young people, but they feel that they have no future, then our countries have no future either. And if our countries have no future, then Europe has no future, and everything we created on this continent in the past 2000 years will disappear. Not just our wealth, our fantastic cities, and our beautiful countryside, but our culture, the entire European cultural landscape as well. There is no mercy in mathematics. We are therefore asking you to start learning, start working and kick-start your country. Kick-start it and defend it, fight for it and lift it high. It is perhaps the most important sentence of the Constitution of Hungary that: “We trust in the commitment of younger generations. We believe that our children and grandchildren will make Hungary great again with their talent, persistence and moral strength.” And this is not just true for Hungary, but true for all of Europe. 

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen, dear Guests,

I wish that the Budapest EuroSkills competition be a true celebration of European vocational training, to the pleasure of every participant and visitor. I wish you all a good contest. Bring out the best in you! Thank you!