The European Union can only survive on the foundations of European values, and these are none other than Christian civilisation and the fate community of European nations, Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén said at the conference Our Common Europe held in Budapest on Thursday.

Mr Semjén pointed out: Hungary is merely seeking to defend European identity and European values. We believe in a Christian Europe, we are proud that we have been its shield for a thousand years, and that we continue to be so today. We believe in nations and are proud of our Hungarian identity, he said.

Europe’s defence can only be based on the protection of Christian civilisation, its identity, the existence of nations and sovereign nation states, he highlighted.

DownloadPhoto: Miklós VáliThe Deputy Prime Minister pointed out: they are pro-EU, but they clearly state at the same time that the EU is not the purpose and fulfilment of Hungary’s history, but a means for the survival of the Hungarian community.

And while membership is far from “a bed of roses”, it is still the best option for Hungary. The Deputy Prime Minister took the view: there is still a chance for common sense to prevail and to restore the EU to the values that its founding fathers once dreamt about.

He also drew attention to the fact that the European Union and Europe are not one and the same thing. Reality is much wider and richer geographically than the organisation that is seated in Brussels. There would be no Europe without Switzerland, Serbia and Russia, and “in terms of a historical perspective” Europe is eternal, while the EU is merely transitory, he said.

The EU is a very important international organisation, but Europe was there even before the EU, and will continue to be there also after the EU as will Hungary, he said.

DownloadPhoto: Miklós VáliHe highlighted: Europe has three basic foundations, and those who deny this attack and jeopardise Europe’s existence and very essence. He said: Europe is based on Christian civilisation, and Christianity built the “cathedral” of European civilisation from Jewish ethics, Greek culture, Germanic state organisation and Roman law.

He also pointed out: Europe is a Europe of nations, and humanity’s wealth lies in the diversity of nations. If nations were to disappear, that would be the most brutal loss of humanity and the European community.

There are additionally “realities of natural law”, said the Deputy Prime Minister who made specific mention of marriage as the committed life alliance of one man and one woman. If this is given up, we also go against the order of nature, the tradition of Roman law and European civilisation in which it was conceived. He criticised gender ideology and highlighted: we must protect ourselves as well as Europe’s identity against deviations.

The Prime Minister’s deputy referred to migration as an Islamic invasion, and pointed to Brussels’ responsibility. If Europe had a true identity, which can only be Christian, Islam would not be able to push its way in as it has, he said.

In his view what the Brussels bureaucracy is doing is unlawful, anti-democratic and unfair. It is unlawful because they do not observe the Dublin Regulations which stipulate the protection of the borders. It is unfair because Mrs Merkel invited migrants into Europe, but forgot to ask the Hungarians, the Polish and the Czechs what they want, and now that migrants are there, she wants to distribute them, he stated.

DownloadPhoto: Miklós Váli

Cardinal Péter Erdő, Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest said: the fall of communism, and accession to the European Union at the beginning of the 2000s forced the countries of Central and Eastern Europe to continually seek to conform, and the tone levelled at these nations perpetuated the feeling that they had not yet been fully integrated, and in actual fact they are required to continually conform to dictates. He added: many of the demands made are less economic than ideological in their nature.

The Cardinal called to mind: when after 1989 the countries of Central and Eastern Europe began to converge towards the West, they found themselves faced with ever new requirements which were frequently not only fundamental criteria related to the democratic functioning of the state, but contained social models and ideas which were fundamentally lacking in the given societies.

“Many felt in this region that they are treated as backward, perhaps uncivilised, or even guilty due to a situation which did not stem from these peoples’ fault, but evolved on account of the political decision of the great powers in accordance with the Treaty of Yalta”, he added.

He highlighted: European identity is mainly a cultural identity beyond geographical factors. One of the greatest forces of inspiration for this culture was and has remained Christian religion, despite increasing secularisation. Another force of inspiration stems from the fact that it is comprised of a number of nations, each of which has its own language, culture, historical experience as well as “its own genius for facing the challenges of individual and social life”. “In this diversity we recognise the richness of creation”, the gift of God which “we must preserve and protect”, Mr Erdő said. He added: “we pray and work” for a Europe which “respects human life from the moment of conception until natural death”, “is inclusive as far as families are concerned”, “respects both the individual’s and communities’ freedom of religion”, and recognises the possibility for each nation “to respect in a befitting manner” the religions which shape their culture and identity.

Member of European Parliament György Hölvényi pointed out that the balance of politics that is based on democracy and the economy had been upset as consumption is now supreme, and this has brought with it the loss of a critical approach. We cannot create a common Europe without breaking out of this. It seems that common consumption does not create communities. In the face of the distortions of social life, we must focus once again on the permanent communities that constitute the very basis of society, families above all, he said.