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Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s speech after the meeting of the Visegrád Four

The sixtieth anniversary was also an important moment in the history of the V4. This was the first occasion on which the V4 was able to clearly demonstrate that we have shared positions not only in the debates of the present, but also with regard to the future of Europe. Prime Minister Beata Szydło played a major role in the wording of the Rome document, as she presented the V4’s joint proposal – the most important items of which were incorporated in the Rome Declaration. I would like to underline this again, using this opportunity to demonstrate that the V4 is not a mere lobbying group within the European Union, but a community of countries bound together by a shared fate, a shared history and shared values. We managed to demonstrate this in the wording of the Rome Declaration, and I believe this is a major achievement. I think it is important that our position is no longer that of countries asking for handouts; the economic figures clearly indicate that the V4 group of countries is Europe’s most dynamically developing region. We are not diminishing the strength of Europe, but adding to it: without us there would be no economic growth in the European Union – or so little that it would not be noticeable. We must continue to represent our positions with due modesty, but with appropriate self-confidence. On Brexit the essence of the Hungarian position is that the rights of those working in the UK must be protected, and the balance of rights and obligations must also be maintained as part of a fair agreement extending beyond the United Kingdom’s departure. I would like to stress that the Rome Declaration does not mark the end of the debate on Europe’s future, but moves it to a phase in which the details are developed. As Hungarians know, “the devil is in the detail”. While we have a general declaration on the future of Europe, over the next few months the Commission will present five major packages: these are the details in which the devil resides. I shall urge the V4 to respond swiftly to every one of these packages. With regard to migration, I welcome Europe’s increasing movement towards a sensible policy and sensible measures. I would like to make it clear that recently Hungary has closed all the legal loopholes, and it is also prepared for the potential failure of the agreement between the EU and Turkey. At the Hungarian-Serbian border we are able to stop a migration flow of any size. Hungary has also taken the first steps towards elimination of the migrant business: several NGOs clearly see the migrant issue as a business issue, so we shall create conditions for the full transparency of NGOs in Hungary. In my opinion, on the whole we are moving closer to a sensible policy. Those arguments are invalid which seek to link the issue of migration to funding which European policy entitles us to. In the future I shall continue to maintain that we in the V4 must not allow ourselves to be intimidated: we must remain committed to a sensible migrant policy.

Thank you for your attention.