Speech by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán at the 30th congress of the Fidesz – Hungarian Civic Alliance

18 November 2023, Budapest

Honourable Former President of the Republic, Distinguished Congress, Dear Friends,

Thank you. First of all thank you – especially to the nominators from Zala. Receiving trust is always an honour, and it also is now – even after all this time, again and again. I am honoured that you have once again entrusted me with the task of leading Fidesz: the most successful and strongest political community in the country – and indeed in Europe. When it comes to my commitment, you will not be disappointed. To tell you the truth, I suspected that this would be the outcome. But I have not lost my humility – my suspicion arose not from a lack of humility, but from common sense: we do not change horses mid-gallop. Indeed, I have not forgotten that two years ago I was given a mandate to lead Fidesz to victory. But it would be more accurate to say that the mandate was to lead, together with the KDNP, the national, Christian and civic forces to victory in the elections – and if successful, to form a government that would continue to build a strong and sovereign Hungary. We are in the middle of the parliamentary cycle, and so we are mid-gallop. One does not change horses at such a time – especially if things are going in the right direction, and one still has enough breath. Let me say to the Congress: there is plenty of breath left in the Government and in me, and we can certainly make it through the next two and a half years. Then at the 2025 Congress we will decide how to proceed. To help you consider potential aspirants, I predict that I am still at the best age, and indeed I plan to be at the best age – and even in the best condition – in 2025.

Distinguished Congress, Dear Friends,

So much has happened since the election that it has almost disappeared in the mists of the past. But let us not pass it by without a word, because we won a huge victory. Everyone – literally everyone – gave their all. United against us were the entire Left, including those who had defected from the Right, summoning up all the resources of the Western Left, and money, media, politicians and governments – from the American Democrats to the Ukrainian ruling parties. It was just like in Poland a month ago. The only difference is that we started our preparations much earlier, and we saw and knew the strength of our opponents more clearly. Because the kingpin, the spider, the puppeteer, was a Hungarian: George Soros, and his network. It is no exaggeration: we won a literally sensational victory.
According to the rules of civic politics, one must be generous to a defeated opponent. We also like to flatter ourselves that chivalry is an inborn Hungarian virtue. So let us not even ask how it could be that the Mayor of Hódmezővásárhely outwitted his nurses, managed to get to Budapest, and suddenly found himself at the top of the Left’s party list. Let us be generous and move on. But let’s not pass over the proven fact – already admitted by the Left – that foreign states, organisations and Brussels itself gave them money in order to defeat us. From the bastion of victory it is good to joke that this was the worst investment of Uncle Georgie’s life, and that it is an indication of the Brussels bureaucrats’ judgment that they bet all their money on a lame horse. But let’s not joke about it. Let’s take the facts seriously, because otherwise we will end up not being chivalrous, but being suckers. Let’s face the bald truth. Foreigners wanted to buy the future Hungarian government – and the country – by the kilo. Those magic micro-donations! And there were politicians, indeed the whole Left, who bought into it. This is not a joke. If it had worked, there would be tens or hundreds of thousands of migrants in Hungary today. Budapest would be in the same state as the cities of the West: plagued by pro-terrorist migrant protests and gang warfare. Gender activists of indeterminate gender would be running riot in state schools and kindergartens, competing for our children. Our army’s weapons would long ago have started being used in Ukraine. We would be waist-deep in a hopeless war with unforeseeable consequences. And Hungary would already be a debt slave to George Soros – and even our grandchildren would be debt slaves. This is what the left-wing parties and their leaders really signed up to. According to legal experts, this does not fall under the legal definition of treason. But what does it fall under? And what is applicable in this case? Nothing? Can someone betray their country for money with impunity? My friends, it is obvious that this cannot continue. We must resolve this. We expect our parliamentarians to draw up rules for the protection of Hungary’s sovereignty, all the way up to the Constitution. So go Máté [Kocsis]!
Ladies and Gentlemen,

We have had some difficult years. I am not referring to the years in opposition – although those are always difficult, and there have been sixteen of them. That was a long time ago. Sixteen years in opposition! Now I am talking about the years in government – we have had difficult years in government. The provision of mass emergency care after the Bokros Package was difficult. It was hard to clear away the rubble after the Gyurcsány era. The floods were difficult. The migration invasion was a difficult period, a very difficult period. And I would not wish the months of COVID on anyone. But none of this was as difficult as the last two years, with the Russo-Ukrainian war, sanctions, the energy crisis and galloping inflation.

You know, My Friends, the way to overcome difficult situations is to set clear goals. The more difficult the situation, the clearer and more concrete the goals must be. Therefore we have set ourselves clear goals, concrete goals. Not to get involved in the war, despite unprecedented Western pressure. To secure the country’s energy supply, despite the gas and oil sanctions. To defend cuts in household utility bills, to protect jobs and family support, despite soaring international energy prices. To preserve the value of pensions, despite runaway inflation. To assist the Central Bank and cut inflation to below 10 per cent. To fend off Brussels’ attempt to starve the economy, and to pull it out of recession. I report to Congress: we have achieved the objectives. We have remained on the side of peace. Our energy supply is secure. We have protected jobs, family support and cuts in household utility bills, and our household energy prices are the lowest in Europe. The value of pensions has been preserved, inflation is below 10 per cent, and next year it will be more like 5 per cent. And all our commitments to Hungarians beyond our borders have been met. And our most important and most brilliant martial deed – a truly heroic hussar’s masterstroke – is that Brussels’ attempts at financial blackmail have been thwarted, the economy is growing again, and it will continue to grow. Of course we will collect the few euros that they owe us. Go Navra [Tibor Navracsics]!

My Friends,

Today families are still finding their feet again, believing – or hoping – that they are past the worst. But from here it is clear that we have made it through the minefield in one piece; and although the noise of war still dominates the landscape, we are once more moving onwards and upwards, towards the prosperous, predictable and encouraging Hungarian life that every Hungarian wants and wishes for – every Hungarian, because those who voted against us are also doing well with us. There will be new momentum and significant growth, even by European standards, which is why there will be higher incomes and a higher minimum wage, we will be able to pay the thirteenth month’s pension, there will be more generous new home creation support, “Csok Plus”, and baby loans. Looking ahead to 2024–25, the message from here is this: fear not, all will be well. Go Misi [Mihály Varga]!

My Friends,

Our congress is always a comradely meeting, a gathering, a build-up to the elections that are just around the corner – in this case the European and local elections. Assessing the situation, exchanging ideas and setting tasks. Current politics. But the Congress is also a good opportunity to dig deeper, to talk about the deeper interrelationships and higher drivers of our politics and governance. We are, after all, a party that contributed to the fall of communism and is in the process of becoming historic itself. It is fitting that I should also talk about the broader context of the country and Fidesz’s affairs.

Well, what anyone can see at first glance is that Hungary is defending itself with all its might and is resisting. This is both outward appearance and the truth: we are resisting the machinations of the Brussels bureaucrats; we are resisting the invasion of migrants; we are resisting gender propaganda; we are resisting the mirages of war; we are resisting Ukraine’s unprepared membership of the EU; and we are resisting green ideologies that are showing increasing signs of communism – and even Jacobinism. We are also defending ourselves against foreign attempts to undermine our sovereignty, against the Soros Empire’s simultaneous attacks on us from Brussels and Washington. Resistance is always defiance, rejection and agile footwork. And indeed my deep conviction is that we must say “no” to the Brussels model of Europe. We must say “no” because it is unsustainable: in plain language, it has no future. I am convinced that in Brussels today Europe is being destroyed and led to ruin. Every day, ever more nails are hammered into its coffin. If things continue like this, the end will come and we can make the sign of the cross in memory of the EU – unless in Brussels in the meantime the sign of the cross has been banned.

And, Dear Friends, it is our job, our vocation, to prevent this. We must prevent it. It is in our interest to keep the EU together: to keep together what we have worked so hard to put together. The EU must not be abandoned, it must be changed – and that is only possible if there are radical changes in Brussels. Without change, the end will come, and it will not be dramatic or heroic in the least. If things go on like this, the EU will not explode, fall apart or collapse. The process is much more prosaic, and is already well under way. If things go on like this, the EU will simply fall apart – just as the planks on a ship’s hull can no longer hold it together, or as a loose rusty hoop slides off the staves of a wooden barrel. Today neither the EU nor the Member States are implementing their own decisions. The Commission – the European Commission – and the European Parliament are wantonly breaking their own rules. What is really worrying is that everyone has adapted to this situation, has got used to it, and is comfortable with it. The EU is weakening like an ageing body. One part of the body starts to hurt, the pain does not go away, and you get used to it. Another pain comes, it does not go away, and you get used to it. Over and over you get used to it, and slowly but surely your ability to act declines and your vitality dwindles. This is the situation in Brussels today. The Brussels model of Europe has grown old, while the world has been renewed, refreshed and reinvigorated. If we do not catch the new winds in our sails, our European ship will slow down beyond salvage.

Distinguished Congress,
Moreover, the Brussels model of Europe is leading to chaos. Fewer and fewer people are working, and more and more people want to live without work – because over there prosperity is not guaranteed by work, but by the state. Public order is disappearing. There the consequences of migration are already unmanageable. The mountain of debt is constantly growing, and investors are moving their money from Europe to America and Asia. Instead of trading and building relationships, Brussels bureaucrats would rather isolate themselves. Instead of rolling up their sleeves, they get offended and castigate those who tell them the truth to their faces. In 1990 Europe contributed 23 per cent of the world’s total economic output; today it contributes 15 per cent. By 2030, Britain will not be among the world’s ten largest economies, and France will not be there either. Germany will barely make it to tenth place. You cannot say “yes” to that: you can only say “no”. We do not want to be Soros’s debt slaves, and we do not want to be a zone of gang warfare and a world of migrant ghettos. We do not want Europe, and Hungary in it, to become a folk museum or a reservation – worth visiting, but with only a past and no future.

Distinguished Congress,

Although self-defence and resistance make us say “no” many times, we do not want to be typecast as the eternally moaning and whining “Mr. No” or “Herr Nein”. We expect more from life than that. Our strength, our hope, our self-esteem is fuelled precisely by the fact that we Hungarians have a plan of our own. We have a counter-proposal. In fact, it is more than a proposal, because we have already tried it out. We have a European counter-model. This Hungarian model is visible, and because it is constantly under attack, it is becoming increasingly well-known. As I once heard from an old man from Délvidék/Vojvodina, “The better you strike, the better the sparks you get.” And that is indeed the case!

My Friends,

The Hungarian model is not only visible, but envied by ever more people – even if officially they have to say the opposite. The French, the Germans, the Italians and the Austrians would give up half their lives if they could have migrant-free countries again. Meanwhile, we have zero migration, and the only people who can come here are those we let in. Today Hungary is the safest country in Europe – something even more obvious in the light of the pro-terrorism street disturbances in the West. This is a work-based economy, because in Hungary prosperity is not something that the state hands out or that the state tricks people into believing. Here prosperity is something that requires work – it cannot function the other way round. Full employment, strong families, national cohesion, falling debt, low taxes, floods of investment, trade and cooperation between our country – Hungary – and all the world’s countries. And a sensible green transformation, and the introduction to Hungary of cutting-edge technologies. This is the Hungarian model for Europe.

Distinguished Congress,
And here we pause. Because Hungary is a strange country. You can see that everywhere in Europe the green parties are the champions of green energy and green technologies. Hungary is different. Here they are the most vocal opponents. Today Hungary receives more recognition in this regard from international green organisations – which in other ways are more politically critical – than from Hungarian green parties. Why is this so? The answer to this riddle is that our green policy is not based on ideology or party affiliation. The Government’s position is this: green energy yes, green ideology no. I know Hungary as a country that does not believe in colourful fairy tales. We did not swallow the brown fairy tales, in which race and blood ruled. Nor did we swallow the red fairy tales, in which the proletariat and class struggle ruled. Nor are we swallowing the rainbow fairy tales ruled by the arbitrary swapping of boys with girls. And we are suspicious of the poison-green fairy tales, in which nature will take revenge and regain power. We Hungarians simply want a clean, healthy and natural world, in line with the order of creation. We want to live in such a world, and we want to pass it on to our grandchildren – whose numbers, thankfully, are increasing.

The door opening onto this world is called green energy. If we want a green world, we must transform our traditional industrial economy into a new, modern, nature-friendly economy. I am convinced that green energy is the future of the Hungarian economy. In fact if we want to be successful we need to do two things: we need to produce green energy, and then store it. Those who are good at this can lead the world economy and win the future. Those who miss out will be left behind, will be losers; they can wait for the next big wave of global technological change, which one day may carry them along. In the meantime, for today’s drop-outs, head for the basement, or at least the semi-basement, from where you can gaze wistfully at the green world above. The new world economic order, the new green world economy, Dear Friends, is being born in the midst of huge competition, a competition between national economies and between companies. Hungary has entered this competition. The share of solar energy in our country has already increased above the EU average, which means that we have met the entry requirements. For us, of course, nuclear energy is green energy, and there are still a few others like us in Europe. In ten years’ time, when Paks II [nuclear power plant] is completed, our economy will be producing 52 per cent nuclear and 39 per cent renewable – mainly solar – energy. We are taking giant steps forward, having already connected the Hungarian electricity grid to that of our neighbours, so that we can provide and receive energy as we please.

But we have not yet won the race, we are not yet at the forefront, as there are many countries in the world that can produce green energy. The real dividing line between the successful and the rest will be in storage of the energy produced. Our left-wing political counterparts should take note of the fact that green energy needs to be stored – because unfortunately it cannot be stuffed into a Nokia box. Yes, dear friends, green energy must be stored. And the big question for the future is this: Who, which national economy, will be able to do this? I think it will be the one that is able to store energy not only in cars but also in homes and factories. We are basically there with cars and green transport: that will soon be in the bag. And now it is the turn of residential buildings and industrial sites. Hungary wants to lead the way in all three areas. If it wants to be a winner, it has to lead in all three areas. To do this we need major investments, major private investments. So go Csaba Lantos!
Distinguished Congress,

According to the rules of economic diplomacy, we rarely talk about this, but it is good to know that we are in a huge race with the Germans, the French and the Spanish. This is not the junior division, this is the big boys’ championship. I think it is fantastic that we can play in this league, and even more fantastic that we are winning in the new technological competition and the green transition. I am convinced that the future of the Hungarian economy is now being decided, because now the decisions are being taken on where Europe’s green industry hubs will be established. If we get it right, we can be at the technological forefront of a new global economic era. We have not had this opportunity for 150 years. In the last hundred years the doors have tended to close on us, forcing us into an ever-shrinking homeland. Now is our chance. We will have plenty of green energy, we will have plenty of water to use – Hungary is a big basin after all – and we still have significant labour reserves in the east and south of the country. We have all the conditions for success – we just need courageous, well-prepared leadership, local and national leaders. Go Debrecen! Go Nyíregyháza! Go Göd! Go Komárom! And go Iváncsa! And there may be more to follow.

But, my friends, there is a snag. This sounds good, but there is a serious problem. And I am not talking about environmental risks, because those can be managed. Green industrial plants in Europe operate with a high level of protection, and what is good for the Germans – I am talking about plants – is good for us. We can easily meet people’s legitimate expectations. That is not the real problem. The real problem is that Hungary has a domestic market of only ten million people. This is not a sufficient base for rapid technological development. Remember that at the time of our last great economic breakthrough Hungary was much bigger. And without the right size and base, there is no chance of getting on the medallists’ podium. This is a serious obstacle, but not serious enough for our grand plans to be doomed to failure. The size problem will be overcome through foreign policy bravura. Hungary must offer something that others dare not, cannot, or will not – or have not even thought of. Brains and guts are still hard currency in the world economy. And we are not bad in that department. In our situation we need to increase the number of people who have a stake in our success, a stake in Hungary’s success. This is why we have decided to make Hungary a meeting place for the most modern Eastern and the most modern Western technology. Go Péter Szijjártó!

Today the country where technological giants from the East and the West – car manufacturers, energy companies, infocommunication companies – can meet and cooperate most successfully is Hungary. On the Paks project alone, Hungarian, French, German, Austrian, Swedish, American – and, yes, Russian – companies are working together. This is why Hungary today can be a champion of connectivity, green energy and new industrial technologies at the same time. This is the strategy that will pull the Hungarian economy upwards in the next fifteen to twenty years. This is why everyone will continue to have a job, and this is what our vocational schools and universities are linked to. We will be strong, we will be rich, we will be green. And even our adversaries will be green – although it’s true that they will be green with envy.

Distinguished Congress,

Let’s get back to earth before we get dizzy. In the coming months – right up until the European elections – we face major political struggles. There will be budget debates in Brussels. It will also be our task to correct the misguided promise to Ukraine to start accession negotiations – as now Ukraine is light years away from the European Union. We must also prevent the resettlement of migrants in Hungary and the adoption of a rule forcing Hungary to set up migrant ghettos. Overwhelming numbers everywhere, on every front. In 1990, opposition less powerful than this was enough to make the first democratic government after communism declare itself a “kamikaze government”. They would do what they must, they said, but they would not survive. We are of different mettle. I have a different attitude. Our government is a ninja government. Our plan is that after the encounter it will be the enemy, not us, who are left on the ground, while we return to base, safe and sound. What a difference! Of course a ninja government must be courageous and capable of action, must not shy away from unexpected manoeuvres, and must know that against a much stronger enemy success can only be won with disciplined action and precise operations. The throwing star must be thrown at the right time and in the right place. There will be no second chance.

My Friends, the first action will be the national consultation. We will ask for and collect people’s opinions. Collecting signatures, knocking on doors, touring the country, whatever there is capacity for. Consultation is key, that is where the power comes from, that is where we get our energy. Then the second phase will be the European elections. We need a breakthrough in Brussels and we need to beat back the Gyurcsányistas. The third phase will be the local elections. Here the constituency chairmen have huge responsibility. They must coordinate the work of the local campaign teams in the electoral battle. They must lead the way in the real and virtual spaces. This is a big responsibility, but it is also a huge opportunity; because if they succeed they can keep their places and win the right to take part in the next electoral battle in 2026. So go Gábor Kubatov!
And we will also need the conscientious work of all our members and activists. We must advance with enormous breadth and strength. We must win both the European and the local elections. Once, before a parliamentary football match, in the dressing room our skipper, Jenő Lasztovicza – God rest his soul! – announced the starting line-up. “But, Jenő”, I said to him, “everyone’s a striker. Who will be defending?” And he says, “Well, the opposition!” Well, my friends, that is the kind of campaign we need. Thank you all once again for placing your trust in me!

God above us all, Hungary before all else! Go Hungary, go Hungarians!