On Kossuth Radio on Friday, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said that in László Trócsányi Hungary has nominated a magnificent candidate to the European Commission.

In his customary fortnightly morning radio interview, the Prime Minister said that the only argument László Trócsányi’s critics can level against him is that, from their point of view, “he comes from a bad place, because he’s Hungarian”. But, he added, there are so many Hungarians that they cannot accept this objection.

Speaking about the importance of the Neighbourhood and Enlargement portfolio intended for the Hungarian candidate to the Commission, Mr. Orbán said that the task in hand involves relations with the Western Balkans, Ukraine, the countries of the Caucasus region and the states of North Africa, which are also important in terms of migration.

The Prime Minister said that he expects to see some “fiery moments” during the candidate’s hearing in the European Parliament, to which the Hungarian opposition will also contribute.

The Prime Minister stressed that a key issue is personal suitability, and that Hungary has delegated a magnificent person; this, he said, shows the intellectual and spiritual capacity and strength of Hungarian politics, and of Hungary in general – of which the country has every reason to be proud.

Mr. Orbán listed László Trócsányi’s professional achievements, highlighting that he also spent many years on the Venice Commission: the expert body of the Council of Europe dealing with constitutional matters.

The Prime Minister stated that over the past few months diplomatic processes have taken place which favour Hungary’s national interests: the Visegrád countries have strengthened, and a Bulgarian could be appointed to lead the International Monetary Fund.

Regarding the EU’s enlargement, he said, “when we stood up for enlargement we took on a great challenge”, because Western Europeans have grown tired of it, and they also explain away their own political and economic failures on earlier enlargements. At the same time, the Prime Minister pointed out, a considerable proportion of the continent’s economic growth comes from Central Europe.

He added that if in the past Europe had not hesitated, and if in 2015 Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia had all been within the EU, then illegal migrants would not have made it all the way to Germany.

He said he is seeking to convince the prime ministers of other countries about this, and in a joint statement on Thursday the prime ministers of the V4 countries stood up for enlargement.

The Prime Minister also spoke about the position of Commissioner for Protecting the European Way of Life. He described it as sad that there are some who attack this portfolio, because every politician’s number one responsibility is protecting the way of life that people have created.

At the same time he added that the debate could be about how migration should be perceived: “as a change in our way of life, a fairy tale or a threat”. He observed that the majority of Europeans see it as a threat, and the attacks on the portfolio show that in European politics there is no consensus even on the most fundamental questions.

Reacting to departing Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s reference to him as “a blind national politician” and not a European leader, the Prime Minister said that a Hungarian does not want to “scrape off their Hungarian identity”, but instead sees being born Hungarian as the greatest thing that could have happened to them. “I’m a European because I’m a Hungarian; if I weren’t Hungarian, I couldn’t be European either,” he said, adding that the EU should be built from nations, while nations should be built from identity and pride.

Outlining Hungary’s strategy, he said that its starting point is creating stability. As part of this, he noted, the country’s alliance with the V4 must be strengthened, and strong relations with other neighbouring countries must be built. He described the fourth element of the strategy as finding allies – including among the older Member States – for the attainment of Hungary’s goals such as border defence.

He identified one of these countries as Austria which, however, was “taken out and neutralised in suspicious circumstances”. At the same time Mr. Orbán expressed the hope that the previous situation will be restored after the upcoming election in Austria. The Prime Minister also described Italy as a key country, which has defended the EU’s maritime borders. The Prime Minister again referred to former Italian interior minister Matteo Salvini as a great friend of Hungary who was, however, forced to resign his position, but who “is being missed already”, as Italy has returned to the dangerous left-wing policy of letting in migrants, and is already demanding their distribution across Europe.

Speaking about Hungary’s economic achievements and allegations of corruption, the Prime Minister said that if there were corruption, there would be no economic development. Although corruption exists in every country, he admitted, the problem in Hungary is not a dominant one. Regarding family policy, he pointed out that “more good things have happened to families under our government than under any other”, and added that he is already considering the details of the second and third family protection action plans.

(Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister/MTI)