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Europe

The European Parliament’s resolution on Hungary is outrageous

Pressure is growing on the Hungarian government in connection with the migrant quota. The European Parliament adopted a resolution condemning Hungary that was initiated by left-wing parties aiming to impose illegal immigration on Hungary, following the anti-nation state and pro-illegal immigration agenda of George Soros.

The Fidesz-Christian Democrat group rejects this latest political offense against Hungary. In Brussels, our job is to protect the interests of the Hungarian people and the citizens of Europe, and that’s why we continue to oppose illegal immigration.

The outlandish text of the resolution calls upon the LIBE Committee of the EP to prepare a report…

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June 1, 2017

Europe

Europe must rediscover its identity

The rise of radical political forces across Europe, the prolonged euro crisis and financial support of Greece, mass migration, sporadic terror attacks, and the unstable Balkans are all symptoms of today’s deepening political, economic and cultural crisis in the western world. Some of these threats may be aggravated by external factors, but their very root is the self-defeating nature of western civilization itself.

“It is a dangerous combination to be rich and appear weak at the same time,” said Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, referring to Europe’s inability to protect her own borders and control an unprecedented wave of mass…

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May 21, 2017

Political

“The clearly articulated will of the people will reach Brussels”

Fidesz is a reform opposition, says MEP András Gyürk, Head of the Hungarian EPP Group delegation. Fidesz is pro-Europe but will not let true debates be overshadowed.

What is your opinion on the document published by the European Commission challenging the national consultation?

I am happy that the European Commission “takes part” in the national consultation because real debate tends to be overshadowed in EU decision-making. They do not address the really important questions. Also, I think it is right that the Hungarian government offers a rejoinder. This dialogue facilitates the common European cause.

According to Viktor Orbán, the government wants Brussels…

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May 11, 2017

European People's Party

The hope for EU’s future is found in a Europe of strong nation states

Last week’s gathering of EU heads of state and government was convened to address some lofty questions – such as where Europe is headed as we prepare to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome – and some practical business – such as electing a president of the European Council. Inevitably, Hungary’s new law on managing migration also came up.

Europe will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Rome Treaty in March, and it offers a timely moment to take a hard look at the direction the EU is taking. The EU, as Prime Minister Orbán said, needs…

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March 15, 2017

Political

Why is it so hard to call Castro what he really was – a “brutal dictator”

The European Commission has stated that the late Cuban leader Fidel Castro was a “hero for many”, suggesting that labeling him a dictator did not reflect their views. It seems that whitewashing the record of communist dictators has become official policy in Europe.

Fidel Castro was vilified around the world, feared by many and played a complicit role in a missile crisis that brought the U.S. and the Soviet Union to the brink of nuclear war. Why then did Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker say that Castro was “one of the historic figures of the past century” and that “the world…

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December 5, 2016

Energy
Big step forward in European energy security

Big step forward in European energy security

By an overwhelming majority, the European Parliament adopted on October 25th the EU Strategy on Liquefied Natural Gas and Gas Storage. As Rapporteur, I am pleased to see the adoption of the strategy, another milestone in creating energy security in Europe. It demonstrates important political support for what is needed to create a more competitive Europe: cheaper, sustainable and more diverse energy. It’s a big step forward, but we need to see more.

As an element of the proposed Energy Union of the highly import-dependent European Union, the strategy calls for diversification of the energy mix as well as further…

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October 31, 2016

Migration
Why the referendum in Hungary?

Why the referendum in Hungary?

The Orbán government has openly campaigned for a No vote in the October 2 referendum on whether the EU should be able to “mandate the obligatory resettlement of non-Hungarian citizens into Hungary” without approval of the national assembly. The government believes strongly that matters of migration and citizenship must remain the competence of individual member countries, not the Union.

Critics, as expected, have labeled the referendum as the first step in a Hungarian “Brexit.” On the contrary, Prime Minister Orbán has been unequivocal about the country’s support for the European Union. It was, in large part, Orbán’s government that…

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September 29, 2016

Political

Never forget echoes across Europe 15 years after 9/11

Even today, it remains difficult to overstate the impact of the attack on the World Trade Center, September 11, 2001. It fundamentally changed our societies, our sense of security and our freedom. Since that dark day fifteen years ago, a plague of heinous violence has claimed many innocent lives, and Islamic terrorism has expanded its cowardly campaign in Europe.

Madrid, London, Paris, Brussels, Munich, Nice. The list of cities grows and the victim toll rises. These acts of violence tear at our communities and attack the foundations of our culture based on freedom.

Fortunately, some of us have resolved to respond….

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September 12, 2016

Migration

The Deliberate Misinterpretation of Hungary’s Referendum on Migration

As EU and UK leaders struggle to determine next steps following the Brexit referendum, we see a new story emerging, a tale heavy with political spin. A number of sources have been trying to paint the coming referendum in Hungary on the EU’s migration policy as a “Huxit,” they couldn’t be further from the truth.

Hungary’s referendum – now scheduled to take place October 2 – has nothing to do with leaving the European Union. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has spoken unequivocally about the government’s support for a strong EU, and stated quite publicly his hope that the United Kingdom would…

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July 19, 2016

Editorial
Hungary toughens anti-terror laws

Hungary toughens anti-terror laws

In a proactive move to address the threat of terrorism, the Hungarian Parliament amended the Fundamental Law last Tuesday to allow the national assembly to declare a state of terrorism threat and grant temporary, extraordinary powers to the government.

When the discussion of these amendments began back in January, only a few weeks after the terrorist attacks in Paris, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán laid out the rationale, saying that “the government has resources that it would use in order to reduce the level of terror threat, but the laws do not allow that.”

“The most important thing in public…

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June 14, 2016

European People's Party

Turning 40, Looking Sharp: Happy Birthday, EPP

An old friend and our political family, the European People’s Party, turned 40 years old this week. European conservatives from all over Europe celebrated its conservative founding fathers, their wisdom and thoughtfulness in Luxembourg on Monday. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said that Europe’s largest political group, the EPP, is the force that has the courage to be brave and outspoken in answering today’s toughest challenges.

Without the EPP, Orbán said, the Soviet Union would not have disintegrated in the 20th century and communism would not have fallen. He said that, without the EPP, Hungary would never have become a…

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June 4, 2016

Migration

Failing to take tough decisions

After the terrorist attacks in Paris, France activated its highest state of alert. President François Hollande, a Socialist, summoned his cabinet and then joined the mourners. Thousands of police were activated but the national dragnet missed the perpetrators. No one resigned from the cabinet, police or intelligence services in the aftermath.

After the terrorist attacks in Brussels, Belgium activated its highest state of alert. PM Charles Michel of the liberal Mouvement Réformateur summoned his cabinet and then joined the mourners. Thousands of police were activated but the national dragnet missed the perpetrators. No one resigned from the Liberal cabinet, police…

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April 12, 2016

Migration

The Reason Behind Hungary’s Migrant Resettlement Referendum

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán announced February 24 that Hungary will hold a referendum on mandatory migrant resettlement quotas.

The referendum will ask, “Do you agree that the European Union should have the power to impose the compulsory settlement of non-Hungarian citizens in Hungary without the consent of the National Assembly of Hungary?”

The Socialist president of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, wasted little time in denouncing the decision, calling it “populist and nationalist” in an interview he gave to Euronews. He argued that the figure in place for Hungary, according to the current plan, is around 1,300 people. Others asserted that…

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March 16, 2016

Economy
Less Vulnerable, More Stable: Hungary’s Recovery Beating the Odds

Less Vulnerable, More Stable: Hungary’s Recovery Beating the Odds

The numbers are in, and 2015 was a good year. As in previous years, Hungary improved in all convergence criteria. The GDP grew by 2.9 percent. The budget deficit dipped to 2 percent of GDP, and the debt-to-GDP ratio shrank to 75.5 percent. When announcing the data on Monday at the opening of Parliament’s spring session, Prime Minister Orbán called on MPs to support an even stricter fiscal goal: a zero-deficit budget to continue to reduce the country’s debt.

Before the Orbán Government took over in 2010, the debt-to-GDP ratio reached well above 80 percent, the annual budget deficit exceeded…

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February 18, 2016

Political

Interview: “Europe Has Been Destroyed by Liberals”

In an interview with the Hungarian daily Magyar Idők, MEP András Gyürk says that Europe is facing a deep crisis and liberal dogmas have failed. The head of the Fidesz Delegation to the European Parliament said that times are changing in Europe and the pressure of political correctness is easing. Hungary’s experience and practices may be significant when the new direction is defined.

The following is an English-language version of the interview. The original Hungarian-language interview is available here.

Magyar Idők:Over the past year, we have seen events of historical significance in Europe. Where is the continent heading?
András Gyürk:…

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December 17, 2015

Political

After Paris, Security is the First Priority

After such a tragedy, the first words are often about shock and sorrow for the victims. Inevitably, what soon follows is a discussion about what should be done to prevent it from happening again.

Communities around the world gathered for candlelight vigils to honor the victims of the November 13th terror attack in Paris and to express solidarity with their grieving families and a nation in shock. Residents of Budapest placed candles in front of the French embassy and Saint Stephen’s Basilica on Saturday evening.
The government declared Sunday a national day of mourning and on Monday, the parliament began its session…

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November 26, 2015

Political

Hungarian Solidarity: Tents, Beds and Armed Forces to Aid Slovenia

Despite reports to the contrary, we do indeed have a sense of solidarity here among the Member States on the EU’s southeastern frontier. As they say, in hard times you recognize who your friends are—those who try to help.

In case you missed it, earlier this month, Hungarian policemen departed to Slovenia to help Hungary’s southwestern neighbor manage the migrant influx, as AP reported. Those who were selected to participate in this mission from the many applicants were sent with clear guidance by Hungarian Minister of Interior Pintér to help their Slovenian colleagues in maintaining order and preventing crime.
The next…

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November 24, 2015

Editorial

Hungary Says Border Protection First, Quotas Second

159,968. That’s the number, as of September 2, of illegal border crossings that Hungary has seen in 2015. That’s more than three and a half times the number that came in all of 2014. Nearly all of those crossings currently take place on Hungary’s southern border with Serbia, which is a southeast border of the Schengen Area, the so-called West-Balkan route. Some 93 percent of these people request asylum even though under the Geneva Convention, asylum seekers do not have to cross the border illegally. They can do it at the official border crossings. 

The numbers, which make Hungary’s southern…

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September 9, 2015

Editorial

Remembering Prime Minister József Antall

At the beginning of April each year, Hungary remembers József Antall, who served as our nation’s prime minister from May 1990 until his death in December 1993. Born April 8, 1932, he was our first democratically elected prime minister after the defeat of communism, and we commemorated him this year with the unveiling of a bronze bust set in the wing of the European Parliament that bears his name. 

It was a touching ceremony with his widow, Klára Antall, present to do the unveiling along with Deputy Speaker of the Hungarian Parliament Gergely Gulyás and Deputy State Secretary of Human…

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April 15, 2015

Editorial

An Energy Union We Can Support

When the subject turns to the idea of an Energy Union, a number of factors influence Hungary’s perspective. First of all, security of supply is a crucial issue for us. Approximately 80 percent of Hungarian households rely on natural gas for heating. That high rate of penetration is almost unmatched in all of Europe. At the same time, Hungary depends on Russia for 80 percent of the supply of that gas. The result is that Hungary has become one of the most exposed Member States of the European Union.

There’s nothing new in the objectives of the Energy Union. We…

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March 12, 2015

Editorial

No, Let’s Really Get Rid of Roaming Fees

Roaming fees were on their way out in 2015. Now, it seems like some are trying to back out of the plan. Let’s not go back. Let’s get rid of the roaming fees as we promised our citizens. 

It looked like the case was closed back in 2013 when the European Commission recommended getting rid of roaming fees within the EU. The European Parliament backed the recommendation – with a huge majority – then the European Council gave it a green light in 2014. After that, the legal framework was to be put together and Member States would then ratify…

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February 18, 2015

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