Gergely Gulyás, Head of the Prime Minister’s Office, told an event celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Hungarian-German friendship agreement that EU member states that had ambitions for making changes to rules that went beyond the European basic treaties would have to reach a consensus with all member states first.
Gulyás said sticking to the European Union’s basic treaties is of the utmost importance, adding that any deviation from the current state of affairs was possible only by amending the EU treaties themselves. “If we can agree on this, we won’t get into great trouble because we’ll either reach an agreement or the current framework will remain,” Gulyás said at the event in Budapest on Monday. Enhanced cooperation created by the Lisbon Treaty would grow, he said, noting the euro zone and Schengen among them. Gulyás said, however, that EU member states had “differing societies … a fact we cannot, and would not, change.” The social policies of Germany’s recently elected government would be unpalatable for Hungarian voters, he insisted.
On cultural ties, Gulyás noted Hungary is the only non-German speaking country where German-language education is available from kindergarten to university. Gulyás also touched on what he called the German news agency dpa’s “falsifying the words” of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s keynote speech last weekend. Germany, a large and multi-faceted country, “has a press with worryingly little diversity,” he said. Hungary “is the EU country most committed to the rule of law, democracy and freedom,” he said, noting that the incumbent prime minister, president and house speaker all fought for those values during the communist rein. “That is why we are reluctant to accept lecturing on the issue,” he added.
Photo credit: MTI