“Hungary and Poland are still linked by true friendship today; the two countries can count, and have always been able to count, on each other’s unconditional support”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó declared at an event held to mark the regaining of the Polish nation’s independence.

At the event, which was held at the Museum of Fine Art in Budapest, Minister of Justice László Trócsányi and Mayor of Budapest István Tarlós were presented with the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland. Chairman of Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee Zsolt Németh and Chairman of the European Affairs Committee Richárd Hörcsik, were awarded the Knight’s Cross.

DownloadPhoto: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

In his speech, Mr. Szijjártó highlighted: The Hungarians and the Poles know what it means to fight for their freedom, and this is why they are able to value their freedom, and “we indeed insist on it in all circumstances”.

The Minister said he represents a nation that has fought for its freedom on many occasions during the course of its history, which “with a little exaggeration was always about the fight for freedom”, which appreciates and values freedom, and which is “a true nation of freedom fighters”.

“The same is true of Poland”, he said.

The Hungarian Foreign Minister noted that Poland gained its independence a hundred years ago, and the Hungarians have always played their part in Poland’s wars of independence.

“Today, both peoples can state that they are free, both countries are independent, but the storms of history have still not subsided today, and in fact “the waves are getting increasingly high”, he said.

According to the Minister, for this reason it is still important to reinforce and experience the historical friendship that links the two peoples.

“Hungary and Poland are still the targets of major attacks today; they are being attacked by those who want a United States of Europe, who want to change the make-up of Europe’s population, who want to move Europe into a post-national and post-Christian era, and who want us to forget our national identities, and religious and cultural traditions”, he explained.

“We will resist!”, the Minister declared.

“We have always been European nations, we have always wanted a strong Europe, but we don’t want a Europe of subordinate nations, we want a Europe of strong nations”, he explained, adding: “We have an opinion and we always stated it, and we are able to do so because we have behind us performance, as also indicated by both the economic and security situation”.

“This anniversary is particularly important to the Polish, because it is exactly one hundred years ago that they regained their existence as an independent state, and the dreams of many generations came true”, he said.

“Following the years of the First World War, the moment arrived that the Poles had been waiting for, and which was followed by the long and difficult rebuilding of social life and state structures” the diplomat recalled.

“This was cut short by the outbreak of the Second World War, following which the leaders of the victorious superpowers faced the countries of Central Europe with another difficult challenge: they forced 45 years of strongly restricted state sovereignty onto us”, he pointed out.

Polish Ambassador to Hungary Jerzy Snopek highlighted: “It is because of these bad experiences that the two countries are still sensitive about their own sovereignty today”.

“It is with concern that we view those European political projects that want to portray Europe as a superpower, because they represent a danger to the culture and national self-identity of smaller countries”, he said.

“Hungarian-Polish economic relations are extremely close, and cooperation within the fields of science, education and culture is also continuously expanding”, the Ambassador noted.

As he explained, those receiving state decorations are friends of Poland, who have done much to further Hungarian-Polish relations.

The Day of Independence is Poland’s most important national holiday. It is held to commemorate the fact that at the end of the First World War in November 1918, Poland regained its independent statehood following 123 years of being partitioned.

Poland regards 11 November as the day on which the country regained its independence, when Józef  Piłsudski, who is viewed as the saviour of the nation, returned to Warsaw from captivity in Germany.