Press statement by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán after his talks with Andrej Babiš and Herbert Kickl

30 June 2024, Vienna (Wien)

Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen.

This day has also arrived. How important this day is will be for historians to decide in a few years’ time. We think that this is the day when the change in European politics begins. I have been in politics since the mid-1980s, and in international politics since 1989. I have seen everything that has happened in Europe and in European politics over the past twenty-five years. This authorises me and gives me the intellectual courage to dare to tell you that 1989 – when the Berlin Wall came down – marked the beginning of an era in European politics, and that with the recent European elections this era has come to an end. It was an era of years, which is now over. A new era is beginning, and the first – perhaps decisive – moment in this new era is when the new European political grouping that will change European politics is created.

First of all I would like to thank Chairman Herbert Kickl for inviting me here. We have known each other for a long time. I have always been a great admirer of the Chairman – not only because he has made the Freedom Party the largest party in Austria, but also because I appreciated his government policy on immigration. So it is an honour to be here in Vienna today at his invitation. Over the past week there have been all kinds of news in Brussels and from Brussels about party organisations that have been launched. We have not commented on these, but have continued working quietly; and, thanks to Chairman Kickl, this work has led to results. Today we are creating a political formation which I am convinced will speed ahead, and very quickly become the largest group on the European Right. This will happen within days, and after that the sky is the limit. That will be the subject of another press conference.

As far as Europe is concerned, it is clear that European policy needs to change. We have been saying this for a long time, but this is less important than the fact that in the European elections the European people have just said this: there must be change in Europe. Parties that promise change to the citizens won in twenty out of twenty-seven countries. Parties that want change won in twenty out of twenty-seven. I have been in Brussels in recent weeks, and I can clearly see that the Brussels elite is resisting this decision. The decision of the European people is not accepted in Brussels. They do not want change, they want to maintain the status quo. This is unacceptable. This is why we are creating this joint group and platform to enforce change in defiance of the will of the Brussels elite. As you know, the European economy is in crisis, Europe’s economic clout is diminishing, the threat of terrorism and illegal migration is becoming persistent, and there is a war in our neighbourhood that we have been unable to prevent from breaking out and that we have been unable to isolate after it broke out. We are therefore living in the shadow of military escalation. The European people want three things: peace, order and development. And what they are getting from the current Brussels elite is war, migration and stagnation. In addition to the bad external circumstances, the bad decisions of the current Brussels elite – their bad political decisions – have contributed to this crisis. They have rendered the European economy uncompetitive, we are on the brink of a trade war with our most important potential partners, and they have wrecked the green transition. What we in Hungary say is that in Brussels now we do not have green policy, but poisonous green policy. This green policy is poisoning us – not curing us, but poisoning us. Today we are using more coal in Europe than we did before the green change, before the Green Deal; and prices are much higher than they were earlier, and this is destroying the economy.

Political change has begun in Europe, as several European governments have had to resign because of the European elections. This is proof that democracy is only possible within a national framework. National governments have had to take note of the decision of the European people and have resigned; but the Brussels elite is resisting, because Brussels is not a democratic construct. In this situation it is our duty to enforce the will of the electorate. There are three political parties sitting here before you: the strongest Austrian party, the strongest Czech party and the strongest Hungarian party; and we are taking on the responsibility of launching this new platform and this new parliamentary group. I would like to make it clear that our aim is for this to soon be the strongest right-wing grouping in European politics – and we believe that it will be. This is why we are issuing a patriotic manifesto, which you will soon be able to read, and which we will sign. This is a manifesto that summarises the ideas and objectives around which our work will be organised.

I would once again like to underline that it is an honour to be here at the invitation of Chairman Kickl. I have only one remaining task, and that is to give the floor to Party Chairman Babiš. Here I would like to say a few words. Mr. Chairman, you have said that in politics what we do in Hungary is sometimes different from what is done in Brussels. We do not support migration: we stop illegal migration. We are representatives of the traditional family. We believe in national sovereignty. Important ideas are the reason that Hungary is today an “island of difference” in the great European liberal sea. You know, this is all well and good, but it is not enough. And I learned that this is not enough from Chairman Andrej Babiš. Because we need one more thing, without which these ideas in politics do not work. We need one important thing, and in Europe he has shown and demonstrated this the most clearly. We need success. Good governance. And I have always respected Mr. Babiš, even when he was Finance Minister, because he was the best finance minister in Europe. What he did there with the VAT system was a minor financial miracle. Of course you do not remember that, but I remember it very well, because we borrowed solutions from him. And what he did as Prime Minister in the Czech Republic was a brilliant success. His was one of the most successful governments in Europe. And he is proof that in politics ideas alone do not stand on their own feet: ideas must be combined with success in government. For me, Chairman Babiš is the representative of this. I am happy to give him the floor. Andrei, please!