Hungary’s foreign minster has said that Europe hasn’t been this unstable since the Cold War.
During a speech at the two-day V4 “Future of Europe” conference held in Budapest’s Castle Garden Bazaar, Péter Szijjártó, minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, talked about the historical challenges facing Europe in the coming months and years.
The minister highlighted how the Visegrád Group has never had such a dynamic and intense year, adding that there are five major areas where Europe is likely to face challenges in future.
First of all, there is the question of security. “Europe hasn’t been as unstable as it is now since the Cold War,” he said. Secondly, with Brexit on the horizon, the European Union will lose one-seventh of its economic weight.
The third involves challenges aimed at our identity, while the fourth battlefield exists between federalists and the advocates of national sovereignty. Minister Szijjártó said that the final challenge revolves around the question of the EU’s democratic deficit.
The foreign minister added that “we should consider disputes within the EU as a natural phenomenon," adding that “when should we have disputes if not now, when we’ll have to decide on the future of Europe.”
The minister also laid out six proposals for a stronger Europe. “Firstly, competition within the EU must be allowed,” he said, then the security of the European people has to be guaranteed.
Thirdly, Europe’s Christian identity must survive, “outsiders should respect not only our laws, habits and culture but also our religion,” he said.
The fourth proposal calls for a “fair debate" on the EU budget and highlights the real dynamics behind the distribution of cohesion funds. Minister Szijjártó’s fifth point relates to the “erosion of democracy” which must be stopped. “Finally, we believe that Europe can only get stronger through enlargement,” he said.
“We want a Hungarian Hungary and a European Europe,” the foreign minister said in closing.