The higher turnout, the higher number of votes and the higher number of mandates attained in the Sunday European parliamentary elections mean that Hungary will have more robust representation in Brussels, Balázs Orbán, the Parliamentary and Strategic State Secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office said on Wednesday in Budapest.

At the Századvég Foundation’s event entitled Europe’s Elections – An Assessment, the State Secretary welcomed the fact that the turnout had increased; Europe has every reason to be proud of Hungary, that the people expressed their will in the elections in such large numbers. Hungary can additionally be proud of the fact that here the EP election campaign was about European topics, the Hungarian people showed that they are interested in Europe’s future, they see the challenges facing Europe, and have a very clear-cut opinion about which way Europe should turn, he said.

He highlighted that the government parties which have emerged from the elections stronger are up against “an opposition in utter ruins”.

Mr Orbán recalled that DK’s campaign promoted the idea of a United States of Europe. They would like more Brussels and less Hungary, and this is unprecedented in Hungary’s political history. There is no argument for a United States of Europe that would explain why this would be in the Hungarian nation’s best interest.

He also said that in the election campaign there was a national government and an international opposition; this is why the Hungarian people supported the government parties in such a high percentage. At the same time, there would be a need for a national opposition, but the opposition parties have not yet arrived at this conclusion, he added.

The State Secretary underlined that the migration debate is the single most crucial issue of the 21st century, and based on the experiences of the past few years, only nation states have been able to offer effective solutions. Only national structures have been able to find answers to global challenges, and the situation is the same with climate change as well: This, too, can only be resolved by national governments, he said. He added that the EU should provide a platform for the cooperation of nations.

Mr Orbán said Fidesz has received a clear mandate to continue its policies, and from the viewpoint of the party’s future in Europe, the question is whether there is scope for this within the European People’s Party (EPP). The representation of Hungarian electors is the most important, he stated.

According to Miklós Szánthó, Director of the Centre for Fundamental Rights, we are dealing with an absolute victory as Fidesz has won all the elections of the past few years. The Fidesz-KDNP alliance has been in government for nine years, and they are pursuing a line in government which does not shy away from disputes. This has provoked a great many criticisms, but the government is ready to take on the fight and to fight for its truth. It is particularly valuable that the government forces have reaped such a victory after nine years of conflict, he said.

He took the view that while the Right cannot underestimate its result, there is no room for complacency either.

Ágoston Sámuel Mráz, Director General of the Nézőpont Group stressed that there is no approach, based on which one could reasonably argue that Fidesz did not win on Sunday.  The reason for the high turnout is that since the start of the migrant crisis, there had been no election in which the Hungarian people had had a chance to have a direct say in European affairs, he said.

He highlighted that as regards the EPP, it is important that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is able to establish relations with the new Right; he is the one who could reinforce the right-wing identity of the People’s Party.

Mr Mráz also said that on the opposition’s side, the struggle will continue. Ferenc Gyurcsány will attempt to integrate MSZP, but it is not certain that MSZP will necessarily have to give in.

Tamás Lánczi, Director of the 21st Century Institute said in the wake of the EP elections the central force field has disappeared, and two opposition forces have gained in strength which are compatible for the purposes of entering into coalition.  This will start “a new game” and it is to be presumed that Ferenc Gyurcsány will attempt to unite the entire Left, he said.

He pointed out that Ferenc Gyurcsány has more extensive experience than Momentum, “they launched themselves into the political struggle a little naively,” but fundamentally “the cards will be dealt” by Ferenc Gyurcsány as he has never before been this close to seizing control on the Left.

According to Mr Lánczi, from Fidesz’s viewpoint it is not necessarily of great significance which party family it belongs to as Fidesz maintains good relations with a number of parties that are not EPP members. It is always the interests of the nation state that matter most, he added.

Zoltán Szalai, Managing Director of Mathias Corvinus Collegium pointed out that DK was the only opposition party which was able to address the people with a clear and understandable message. At the same time, Momentum created the image of a young, dynamic, urban party, and reached the younger generations living in cities, he added.

He observed that, as a result of a rearrangement, MSZP, LMP and Jobbik have become weaker, while DK and Momentum have managed to gain in strength.

Zoltán Lomniczi, Jr., legal expert of the Századvég Foundation said it is shocking that in the EP election campaign the kippah scandal in Germany did not provoke reactions, while issues of far less significance were on the agenda a great deal. It is also evident that it is possible to reach young people with the issue of climate change, he added.

Gábor G. Fodor, President of the Századvég Foundation highlighted that it is not easy to bear victory, in particular “when one keeps winning, and this is what seems to be happening to Fidesz all the time”. Fidesz keeps winning in a world which is in constant motion, where parties come and go, and the balance of power and topics keep changing, he said, adding that “one must bear the burden of victory” which means that if one keeps winning, the bar is always high.

In a video message sent to the conference, Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini thanked the Hungarian people who helped Fidesz to victory in the EP elections. He said they could continue to cooperate in Brussels also in the future in the interest of the protection of the borders, and the preservation of our culture and identity.