With due modesty, but with the self-confidence afforded by the performance of the past thirty years, and in light of the situation in Europe, one can say that thirty years ago we thought Europe was our future, but today we believe that “we are the future of Europe”, and “we are ready for this mission,” Prime Minister Viktor Orbán stated on Sunday in Prague at the commemoration held on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution.

In his speech delivered at the event which was held at the National Museum in Prague, the Prime Minister highlighted that 30 years ago we Central Europeans showed that “we are prepared not only to die for our countries and Europe, but that we can also live and work for them”. Today not only our fate, but also our goals are shared, “The cooperation of the Central European countries is engraved on the hearts of the Central European people”, and so the years ahead will be about the success of Central Europe, the V4, he said.

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He underlined that “The fates of our peoples have become intertwined many times over the past one thousand years,” and since the end of World War II we have shared the same fate as after 1945 the Czechs and Slovaks, together with the Polish people, were handed the same in reward as what was meted out to us Hungarians in punishment: Soviet dictatorship”.

The Prime Minister recalled that in the eighties for young Hungarians the Czech and Polish anti-communist resistance movements were models, with the aid of which the Hungarians also embarked on the dismantling of the communist regime.

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He took the view that today it is clear that “to be a ‘68-er means vastly different things in the West and in Central Europe”. The West’s ‘68 seeks to eliminate the free European world that rests on the foundations of nation states and Christian culture. By contrast, “our ‘68” seeks to regain and defend it, he said. He added that also today the message of the Central European ‘68 is that “we want to decide about our own fate”, we want to live as free nations, “not as imperial provinces or as imperial subjects”.

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The Prime Minister stressed that “we are Central European democrats” and therefore we must defend the sovereignty of nation states “because if we surrender it, it will also mark the end of democracy”.

In Mr Orbán’s view, also today, we do not need some new ideological system, and if we want to improve our European world of today, “we need simple human things”. We need to be allowed to live our own Central European lives, to respect and protect our families, to enjoy our freedom, to love our country, and to be proud of our nation, he listed.

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The Central European people have their own tongue, the tongue of freedom, independence and solidarity towards one another. This is the language that gives us an independent and firm voice in the big family of European nations, and it is thanks to this that today Central Europe is not only a geographical term, not only a promise, but political, economic and cultural reality, the Prime Minister pointed out.

At the commemoration, speeches were delivered by the prime ministers of the Visegrád countries, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini, as well as by President of the German Bundestag Wolfgang Schäuble.