Press statement by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán after a meeting of the prime ministers of the Visegrád Four countries

26 June 2023, Bratislava (Pozsony)

Good afternoon,

Prime Minister, thank you very much for inviting us here. The V4 was created to help one another’s countries join the European Union. We then maintained it so that we could jointly promote our interests within the European Union. This remains a relevant task. The V4 has never been a geopolitical organisation; there are geopolitical organisations with this focus, and we are all in one. So, of course, we have also looked at the issue of Russian aggression and the Russo-Ukrainian war, but it is not our intention that this issue should slip into a central position in V4 cooperation.

We talked about migration, which is important for Hungary. The Hungarian position remains unchanged: if someone wants to come to Hungary, all procedures related to the application for asylum must be carried out while they are outside our borders, and they can only enter Hungary if a decision is made in their favour. Unfortunately, the new migration proposal from the European Commission and the EU Council of Interior Ministers has not served to achieve this objective, and so we shall continue to fight. 

With regard to competitiveness, I agree with my Polish colleague. The green transition is important, but it must be implemented in a way that does not undermine the competitiveness of Hungary and does not undermine the competitiveness of Central Europe. In other words, it should be a green transition with industry, but not without industry – and especially not against industry. We are also concerned about the phenomenon referred to by Prime Minister Morawiecki: the possibility that, having lost our competitiveness, capital from the European Union – and, if we mishandle matters, from Central Europe – will look for opportunities in other countries, such as the United States.

We talked about the Balkans. Over the past week I have been to a number of countries in the Western Balkans, and I am pleased to hear that my colleagues continue to share our earlier joint position that there should be an acceleration of the process for accession of the Balkan countries to the European Union. I am also pleased that today the Serbian authorities, the court, have decided to release the three Albanian Kosovo police officers; this has gone some way to easing the rapidly growing tension. 

Given that Poland is opening up new LNG capacities, we were pleased to hear the Polish prime minister’s proposal for further diversification of energy supplies. We are particularly interested in this.

We share the concerns that grain arriving from Ukraine is causing in our countries. We support grain from Ukraine going to destinations outside Europe, but we are not in favour of that grain staying here, for example in Hungary, and destroying the entire Hungarian grain market. Therefore “yes” to transit, “no” to import, and we continue to believe that this ban should be maintained from mid-September onward.

We look forward with anticipation to the Czech presidency.