Address by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán at the passing out ceremony for law enforcement cadets from the National University of Public Service

1 July 2023, Budapest

I greet the graduates, lecturers and guests of the Faculty of Law Enforcement at the National University of Public Service. 

I would like to extend a special welcome to the parents of the graduating students, to whom we owe the most for our presence here today. First and foremost it is they who deserve the credit for the fact that their sons and daughters, who stand before us today, have not only grown up, but also stand before them as adults worthy of respect. They are people who at a young age are already capable of making serious decisions. Standing here are strong, determined young people who love their country. In today’s world this is not an everyday occurrence, and we must value it. Recognition is owed to all those who have steered you towards serving your country, and who have kept you on that path.

Young Officers, 

Year after year there is a passing out ceremony, year after year hundreds of people make a commitment to serve in the police, the financial crime division, the prison service or the disaster management directorate. But this year, for the first time, we are holding the ceremony in front of the Ludovika Main Building. And this is good, because the Ludovika is a symbol: it has a larger meaning. This is an institution that stands for loyalty to one’s country, service to the nation, and the acceptance of responsibility to the community. In other words, it stands for the recognition that the strong have a duty to protect the weak. Strong people are needed, because justice without strength is worth little. It demands the most serious determination to be strong enough to exercise command over ourselves and keep our private and professional lives in order – especially at such a young age! We also see young people – perhaps more than we should – who like to take the easy way out, who don’t like to take responsibility, and who don’t want to commit themselves to anything. Some outgrow all that and choose to give their lives seriousness, weight and meaning instead of going with the flow. So they choose a serious vocation – they choose to serve the state, for example. 

Dear Oath-takers, 

Those who choose a responsible life, a career as an officer, also profess their Hungarian identity. Because with your oath you swear to protect the Hungarian people, and to serve the peace and security of the Hungarian nation. Today you pledge to stand strong in difficult times, to protect the weak and the fallen, and to restrain all those who threaten the peace and security of Hungary; and in doing so, you pledge to ensure that strength will stand alongside the justice of the Hungarian people. You have chosen a difficult path, but one paved with virtues: a lifelong vocation. As you can see, we live in times when the world is being shaken to its foundations. We Hungarians are no exception – we cannot be, because the earthquake’s epicentre is right next door to us. The great war of our age is taking place in Hungary’s immediate neighbourhood, and meanwhile tens and hundreds of thousands of migrants are besieging our borders from the south. What we need is a strong country, a strong government, a strong economy, a strong army and – not least – strong law enforcement agencies. We need to train and equip ourselves. Ahead of us are times in which the weak nations will perish and the strong will remain. Therefore we must strengthen our own lines of defence and our own law enforcement every single day.

Dear Oath-takers, 

You have become members of a successful and respected body. Over the past decade, police officers have earned the trust of the people, and – perhaps even more importantly – have been able to keep it. Crime has been reduced and we can say that today Hungary is one of the safest countries in Europe – if not the safest. We can all be proud of this, and we are.

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

You have taken your oath. Please do your utmost to remain faithful to it. I wish you strength, health and a fine career in your profession.