“V4 cooperation provides a good opportunity for Eastern European countries to be treated as equal partners”, Government Spokesperson Zoltán Kovács explained on Hungarian M1 television’s Thursday evening current affairs program.

In an interview published in eight European dailies - Le Figaro, El País, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Corriere della Sera, Le Soir, Le Temps, The Guardian and Gazeta Wyborcza - on Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron said, amongst others: “When I hear certain Eastern Europe politicians today, I see that they are betraying Europe. They are deciding to abandon principles and are turning their backs on Europe. This is a cynical approach to the European Union, according to which it is only for distributing money, without having to respect its values”. With relation to the interview, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán explained: Macron’s “introduction was not particularly reassuring, because he obviously felt that the best form of friendship was to immediately take a kick at the countries of Central Europe”. “This is not how we do things around here, but he too will learn the ropes eventually”, the Prime Minister added.

According to Mr. Kovács, many statements may be observed with which the points of view that are the partly based on a feeling of political superiority, and which have been with us for decades and centuries, continue to come to the fore. The Government Spokesperson noted that the V4 have a total population equal to that of France, adding “We hope this will also make Western Europe and EU leaders in Brussels stop and think”.

Mr. Kovács recalled that the four countries of the V4 (Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia) have succeeded in cooperating effectively during the past two years with relation to border protection, and not just on migration, but also with relation to many other issues: the V4 have put forward important proposals on economic issues, during the debate on the future of the European Union, on innovation and with relation to efficiency.

The Government Spokesperson made it clear: The Hungarian standpoint continues to be that no compromise can be achieved on the quotas, noting that in his opinion there will be no consensus on the issue within the EU either. “Joint action against migration can, however, be achieved through other joint measures such as reinforcing the EU’s external borders and establishing a more determined European presence in Libya, certain African regions and the Middle East”, Mr. Kovács explained.

The Government Spokesperson also mentioned that Syrian refugees who had indeed been forced to flee their homes to neighbouring countries are not travelling further afield because they would like to return home at the earliest opportunity. “Accordingly, Western Europe must assure that they are able to return to the land of their birth as rapidly as possible through facilitating the settlement of the political situation, and later by providing financial assistance”, Mr. Kovács declared.

(Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister/MTI)