"Veszprém has once again taken its place on Hungary's imaginary podium," Prime Minister Orbán said, commending the city's remarkable contributions. He said that all Hungarians should be proud of Veszprém's accomplishments, adding that living as a Hungarian is indeed a source of joy, especially in this culturally rich city.
In PM Orbán’s view, Veszprém's designation as a European Capital of Culture in 2023 is a significant honor for the city and also for Hungary as a whole. He praised the city's notable developments, including its status as the most ancient city in Hungarian history and a bearer of Pannonian culture and consciousness.
PM Orbán said that during the application process leading up to becoming a European Capital of Culture, Veszprém had the government's unwavering support, confirming that a considerable investment of around HUF 100 billion had been made.
PM Orbán highlighted the city's unity and sense of community. He praised the residents for rejecting envy and fostering genuine connections with neighboring villages, particularly those along the shores of Lake Balaton, which are also participating in the EU cultural program.
Prime Minister Orbán acknowledged the historical dream of uniting the nations of Europe into one empire, which Brussels seems to have taken on itself. “After the collapse of the Roman Empire, it was decided that Europe would be made up of nations with their own languages and cultures and that there would be territorial and power disputes,” he said.
However, the prime minister said they must find a delicate balance between national sovereignty and unity, noting the scarcity of tolerant and strong leaders today. PM Orbán expressed concern over the increasing intolerance, weakness, and callousness prevailing in Europe, urging a reevaluation of the European Union's purpose and mission.
Concluding his speech on a positive note, PM Orbán paid tribute to the European Capital of Culture program and expressed his gratitude for Veszprém's contributions. He celebrated the city's achievements and wished it, as well as the European Union, continued success. In this, he highlighted the need to address the challenges faced by the EU while embracing the celebration of cultural diversity.