“Keeping the ideological guerrillas away” and electing leaders with a pragmatic life instinct was a good decision, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán told the public service television news channel M1 after his meeting with Ursula von der Leyen on Thursday in Brussels.

Regarding the new President of the European Commission, the Prime Minister said “so far, it seems like we made a good decision”.

Mr Orbán described Ursula von der Leyen as a politician “whose thoughts about the future float around the same issues as ours”. He mentioned among these the future of children and families and security, but he equally mentioned the development of a common European defence force and defence industry as a shared intention.


Ursula von der Leyen also has a sensitive approach to delicate issues such as migration, and in this respect, too, she is able to think as Central Europeans do, Mr Orbán added.

“As to what will happen later, we will see,” but today there is a better chance to reach reasonable solutions than earlier, or than we would have had in the case of any other candidate, he said.

Mr Orbán described the Thursday meeting as successful. He further said about the new Commission President that she is passionately convinced that the European Union must survive, and therefore she “instinctively” rejects all affairs which push Member States away from one another.


Mr Orbán described this as a Hungarian interest as well, given that “we, too, would like to be able to bring together the various countries of the European Union in such a way that meanwhile every country may remain what it is, that Hungary may remain Hungary”.

Therefore, the Prime Minister expects to see a pragmatic approach also to difficult issues, including the issues of climate, energy, economic policy and migration. Regarding the latter, Mr Orbán expects debates to become more reasonable in the future.

The new Commission President understands the difference between the Western and Central European ways of thinking; the fact that while Western Europeans are concerned with the integration of migrants, the Hungarian people and Central Europe are concerned with making the point that they do not wish to create multicultural societies, he added.

At the same time, Ursula von der Leyen believes that it is not this debate they should pursue, Mr Orbán highlighted. We must talk about issues on which we may expect a positive outcome, such as the importance of border protection. One other such issue is that procedures related to migrants must be conducted while applicants are still outside the territory of the EU, he listed.

At the meeting, the parties further agreed that migrants cannot be allowed to roam free on the continent during the period of the relevant investigations; instead a humane solution must be found for them which provides security for our citizens as well, he said. There was likewise no dispute between the parties about the fact that anyone arriving in the EU irregularly must be sent home.

Regarding the debates on climate targets, the Prime Minister said we have shared responsibility for the future, but in his view, while rich countries can afford to make weighty statements on this matter, a country of Hungary’s size can only make undertakings it will be able to honour.

He stated that Hungary, in accordance with its previous undertakings, will achieve the target of gaining 90 per cent of its energy needs from carbon dioxide emission-free sources by 2030 as the plans and resources are available for this.

However, the country “is under pressure” to pledge that by 2050 it will achieve that it will have no carbon dioxide emission at all, he added. “I will be ready to make that pledge at some point, but I see no scope whatsoever for making that pledge now,” he stated. He said in explanation that while there are targets, there are no signs of plans, and so any talk about this would be irresponsible.

He added at the same time that they must work on this issue. We need new, expensive technologies which should be financed by the EU at least partially.

The person of the Hungarian EU commissioner was only mentioned “in passing,” he said. He pointed out at the same time that László Trócsányi led Fidesz-KDNP’s list in Hungary because the people were told that if they vote for that list, he will be Hungary’s commissioner.