President Katalin Novák: It is my responsibility as president to demonstrate what the homeland means to me

In her inauguration address earlier today, Hungary’s freshly appointed president, Katalin Novák, said that it is her responsibility to demonstrate what her homeland of Hungary and her compatriots, the Hungarian people, really mean to her, and what she stands for regarding the place of Hungarians in the world.

Beginning her inauguration speech earlier today in Budapest’s Kossuth tér, President Novák said that “we are here together in the heart of Europe, in the capital of the country, in the middle of the Carpathian Basin, in the main square of the nation; but we are also together in will to create a better, more beautiful, more peaceful, more prosperous and more secure life for Hungarians in the 21st century, after decades of moral disintegration in the last.”

According to President Novák, Hungary is currently under the shadow of war. “The attack on Ukraine, after the initial shock, demanded both an immediate and, at the same time, a well-thought-out, long-term response from Hungary as well. As the first refugees arrived in the country on February 25, Hungarians rushed to their aid without hesitation,” she said. Since then, she added, 700,000 refugees have crossed over to the safety of Hungarian soil, and Hungarians have collected hundreds of millions of forints in donations, providing care for the wounded, food for those left behind, education, shelter and work for families.

“Hungary has passed the test of humaneness,” President Novák concluded.

President Novák then presented her thoughts on the war in Ukraine in 10 points. In addition to condemning Putin's aggression, she said that Hungary will forever say no to any attempt to restore the Soviet Union. Hungarians want peace, she added, demanding an investigation into and punishment of war crimes. “Hungary is not neutral, we are on the side of the innocent victims and of justice,” and Hungary is fulfilling its obligations as a member of the EU and NATO, Novák said.

In her view, Hungary will not renounce its sovereignty but supports Ukraine's accession to the European Union. She said that Hungary is ready to make sacrifices for peace and will not obstruct the sacrifices of its allies, but it will not agree to decisions that require greater sacrifice from Hungarians than the pain they cause the Russian aggressor. Katalin Novák offered to play a mediating role in the peace negotiations and also stood up for the interests of the Hungarian community in Ukraine.

"I will work to ensure that we Hungarians can experience the feeling of being understood and appreciated as often as possible," she said, highlighting that the result of the work of the past decade is that Hungarians are once again living with their heads held high, looking at the world from a unique Hungarian perspective, with Hungarian eyes and with Hungarian interests in mind.

As Novák said, her task is “to find the depth and height wherein the Hungarian people's self-evident togetherness lies." She added that the cradle of sovereignty is the family, and the unity of the nation begins in the family, too.

As president of Hungary, Novák will strengthen Hungarians in what she personally believes: In a set of values based on Christianity, in encouraging the transmission of life, the upbringing of children in love, the protection of human life and the family, respect for one another, and support for the weak.