PM's policy director: A leadership crisis is taking place in Brussels

Balázs Orbán said that “Europe and the European Union are among the losers of the war” in Ukraine.

Balázs Orbán, the prime minister’s policy director, has highlighted a “stupendous” leadership crisis that is taking place in Brussels.

Speaking on public radio on Tuesday, Orbán said that “Europe and the European Union are among the losers of the war” in Ukraine. He said Germany was in a recession, industry was struggling and inflation was “skyrocketing”. Referring to next year’s European Parliament elections, he said Brussels may soon be able to extricate itself from its leadership mess and a more “balanced approach” would be taken. Hungary, he added, was actively seeking allies within Europe and all around the world. Hungary “must fight”, he said, adding that it should not shy away from disputes with Europe. The government canvassed public opinion regularly, the policy director said, and millions of Hungarian citizens had expressed their views. The government was obliged to represent them, he added. Meanwhile, in a separate interview with public affairs channel M1, he said Hungary had entered a “highly dangerous period”, with the “war raging next door” and “competition between the two great powers, the US and China, will be decisive in the coming decades”. He said it was in Europe and Hungary’s interest for a new balance between the two great powers to be formed amid conditions of peaceful cooperation rather than war. Hungary, he added, may reach its national goals by promoting peace and peaceful world trade.
The policy director said some policymakers saw Europe’s role as an accessory to the US. At the same time, Hungary and France, he added, held that Europe should act as an independent pole and play a mediating role. Speaking about the economy and the budget, the prime minister’s policy chief said a turnaround was expected next July and next year’s budget was designed to protect the country’s achievements. Full employment, the real value of pensions, utility reductions and family support will all be protected, but all this would require much bigger budget resources due to the Russia-Ukraine war and related sanctions, he said. Referring to the prime minister’s recent speech in Băile Tușnad, he said hopefully the turnaround would be evident in the coming months. In the short term, the government was focusing on protections while it was preparing for “an offensive” in the longer term. Noting Romanian diplomatic moves in connection with the prime minister’s speech, he said Hungary warmly welcomed the leaders of all countries and they were free to say whatever they liked. “We Hungarians are very proud of this freedom and we’d be glad to recommend it to others,” he said.