The thousand-year-old Hungarian nation sends the message to Europe that it can only survive if it preserves itself, and protects its borders, a Europe of nations and Christian freedom, the Justice Minister stated on Tuesday in Miskolc.

At the city celebration held on the occasion of the foundation of the state in St. Stephen Square, Judit Varga said the past has taught the Hungarians humility, acceptance and perseverance.

Therefore, the same as in the past thousand years, also today it is our duty to stand up for ourselves and for the values that we believe in, she added.

“Standing up for Christian Europe and protecting that which is ours, what we are,” the Minister said.

Praising King St. Stephen, she said the Hungarian monarch who assumed the throne at a young age left a deep mark in history which is capable of influencing the future of the Hungarian people even a thousand years on.

“St. Stephen did the greatest thing that a monarch could do for his own people: he defended Hungary’s independence at a time when submission and self-surrender would have been an evident choice,” Mrs Varga stressed, adding that St. Stephen laid the foundations of the independent Hungarian state which he reinforced with robust laws, border protection and the sovereignty of the Hungarian state.

The Justice Minister pointed out that Europe – which was segmented and diverse even during St. Stephen’s time – was forged into unity by Christian culture, and for the Hungarian people the continent is a religious, cultural and political community which has constituted their home since the foundation of the state.

Our duty is not only to pay tribute and to remember. It is not enough to make the right decision once; we need good decisions at all times as Hungary was not given its existence and freedom as a gift. We must continuously fight for them, Mrs Varga said.

Despite the country’s turbulent history, the Hungarian people have defended Europe’s borders throughout, and have contributed to its common values with their talent and diligence, she indicated.

The Justice Minister described the Pan-European Picnic held in Sopron thirty years ago as another glimpse and historical proof of the “courage of hundreds of years”.

By allowing East German citizens to leave for the West we started the dismantling of the Iron Curtain which fell entirely a few months later, and the path towards Europe’s reunification – which has been an ongoing mission ever since – opened up, she added.

At the commemoration, relaying Mayor Ákos Kriza’s message, Municipal Clerk Zoltán Alakszai said the Hungarian nation and Hungary have a future as long as their leaders regard the protection and preservation of the nation as their number one priority.