Viktor Orbán Introduces his Programme for the EU Elections – FULL SPEECH

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Speech by Viktor Orbán
at the launch event for the Fidesz – KDNP
European Parliament election programme

5 April 2019, Budapest

Good afternoon,Ladies and Gentlemen,

As I see it I’m the odd one out, because the people who’ve spoken before me are experts in what they spoke about. Even our justice minister, who doesn’t seem at first sight to fit into that category, was an ambassador in Brussels for several years, so he can be classified as a foreign affairs expert. József Szájer is the leader of our parliamentary group in Brussels, and Péter is our foreign affairs minister. Which means I’m the odd man out. So why am I being given the chance to speak?

Dear Friends, Ladies and Gentlemen,

The reason I’m speaking to you now is because this is what we do before a campaign. We review the troops, gather our forces together, unfurl the flag and clarify our aims. If I look around me – not only in this room but around the country – I can confidently say that our political community is self-confident, strong and buoyant. There can be no room for complacency, however, as after all we’re now facing an imminent contest. It was perhaps just last weekend that we staged the Hungarian National Swimming Championships – which in some events seemed more like European championships than simple national championships. After one of the events there, Katinka Hosszú said that it’s marvellous for someone to have a few Olympic gold medals. We have a few electoral victories. It’s marvellous to have self-confidence, and we have no shortage of that. But unfortunately when you step onto that starting block for your next race, what you’ve already achieved is completely irrelevant: the only thing that matters is the race ahead of you at that moment. So this is why I’ve been given the floor: to offer this reminder to our distinguished audience gathered here. I’m happy that we’re together once again.There are many things we should talk about today in relation to Europe, but as the campaign is only just beginning we’ll perhaps have time for that later. We can’t talk about everything today: now at the beginning of the campaign we can only set about stating what is at stake in the election on 26 May. This is despite the fact that there are some exciting current issues: the relationship between the European People’s Party and Fidesz, for instance. I don’t want to talk about this at length, but here perhaps it’s enough to make it clear among ourselves that our future will be decided not by the European People’s Party, but by us ourselves. After the elections we’ll see the direction taken by the European People’s Party. At present it seems to be turning to the left, in a liberal direction: towards liberal European empire-building and a Europe of immigrants. If this is the direction it takes, you can rest assured that we shall not follow. And of course there are the statements by Weber, which give a jolt to the spirits and national self-esteem. No wonder more and more people are succinctly saying and writing what our direction should be: out. I’d like to ask for patience, and for us to decide later at the right time, based on our national interests.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let’s face up to the fact that past elections to the European Parliament never seemed to be of pivotal importance. In essence they were meant to decide whether the President of the European Commission came from the Right or the Left. This hasn’t always been as easy as it sounds. There’s this Jean-Claude Juncker, for instance: we thought he was a man of the Right, but we found ourselves presented with an orthodox European socialist, who bears decisive responsibility for Brexit, the migration invasion and the increasingly serious conflict between Central and Western Europe. What is at stake today, however, is more than the election of a single individual. Today we are indeed approaching a historic election: at the end of May Europe will choose a future for itself. The stakes are not whether there will be more conservative or socialist representatives in Brussels; now millions of Europeans will be deciding on a matter that is far more important than party politics. What is at stake is whether the leaders of the EU will be pro-immigration or anti-immigration. We will decide on whether Europe will continue to belong to Europeans, or be given over to masses of people from different cultures and different civilisations: what the French have called “population replacement”. We will be deciding on whether to defend our Christian European culture or to submit to multiculturalism. Taking all this into consideration, it’s no surprise that the fault line between the opposing sides is not defined by the classic value systems of the Right and the Left. Look at the V4 countries and their prime ministers, for example: each of us is in a different grouping in the European Parliament. I cannot even say that all four of us are on the same side ideologically. We have a liberal, a socialist, a People’s Party politician and a conservative; there couldn’t be any more than that, because there are only four of us! But we agree on one fundamental issue: we want to preserve Europe and our countries as we have always known them. As the old teaching has it: “In essentials unity; in non-essentials liberty; in all things charity. ”On 26 May, Dear Friends, the matter we will be voting on is an essential one: at stake is the existence of our Christian civilisation. Let’s remember, when the European Union was formed – I mean let’s remember what we read about it –it had a big soul and a small body. Today the situation is reversed: it has a shrinking soul and an ever-expanding body. How did we get here? How did we get to the point at which this question would even arise? How did we get to the point at which we have to fight for our way of life, our form of existence and our natural habitat on our own continent?

Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Friends,

We got to this point because there is a malfunction in the apparatus of the Brussels elite. In Brussels there is a bubble: the virtual world of the privileged European elite which has become detached from reality, and detached from the real life which is being lived not in Brussels but in the Member States. This European elite doesn’t want to understand the warning from General de Gaulle, who declared that politics must be grounded in reality, and is “an art… acting for an ideal through realities.” Realities, Dear Friends, are historical, cultural, demographic and geographical. The elite living in their Brussels bubble refuse to take into consideration these realities: the realities of life in nation states. Perhaps they’re no longer even aware of them. This is how Mr. Weber – a Bavarian Catholic, incidentally – can continually affront the Hungarian people. A Bavarian from Brussels might do something like this, but you can be sure that a Bavarian from Munich never would. Although the Brussels elite continuously attack the Central European nations, in reality support for European Union membership among citizens of Member States is highest of all in Hungary and Poland. We can modestly claim that this relates to governance:in recent years we’ve done much to increase Hungarians’ belief in a strong and successful Europe; and they show this belief. This is clearly demonstrated by earlier election results: in our first European election, in 2004, Fidesz and the Christian Democratic People’s Party received 47 per cent of the votes; in 2009 we won 56 per cent; and in 2014 we got 51.5 per cent. This resulted in us being in first place in Europe.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The conclusion one can draw from this is that Hungarians – who have defended Europe for a thousand years – want the European Union; but they’ve had enough of what’s going in Brussels, and they want change.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We Hungarians have had disputes with Brussels for almost nine years. On the surface these disputes have been about different subjects, but if we look deeper, we can see that they are always about the same thing: the fact that we’re not prepared to do what Brussels dictates if it’s not good for the Hungarian people. In 2010, when our government had only just formed, they demanded austerity measures; instead we sent the IMF packing and reduced taxes. They wanted to allow banks to make people repay their foreign currency loans a hundred times over; instead we introduced a banking tax, converted the loans into forints and held the banks to account. They wanted the Hungarian people to pay the highest household utility charges in Europe – by no coincidence to their utility companies; instead we cut household utility charges. They wanted us to let migrants across the border; instead we built a fence. They wanted us to accept migrants from Western Europe; but time and again we rejected the mandatory migrant relocation quotas. This is the situation: we’ve been continuously fighting fierce battles for nine years. But, looking at the condition of Hungary today, if we try to decide whether it’s worth a Hungarian government fighting such battles, I can only say that it’s been worth it. If we take a look at the Hungarian economy, we can see that an increasing number of Hungarians are in work, and the Hungarian economy’s performance is continuously improving. It pays to be in work, and every year everyone can take a step forward – perhaps not always as large a step as they would like, but definitely a step, and going forward. There is no comparison between the country’s current state and the conditions in Hungary in 2009, at the end of the Socialists’ period in government. Where are the snows of yesteryear, when they left office? They left behind them the IMF and a huge debt burden, effectively saying “Let the poor Hungarians cope with them, since they didn’t have the strength to send them packing earlier.”

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Over the past five years,however,the leadership of the European Union has not given us much help: it has made our shared home of Europe – within which Hungary lives – not stronger, but weaker. The balance sheet for the five years since 2014 is this: the United Kingdom, one of the European Union’s strongest Member States– and militarily perhaps the strongest – is about to leave Europe; meanwhile millions of immigrants have entered the EU illegally, and – as we’ve heard, and seen with our own eyes – they are threatening the security of Europeans and Europe’s Christian cultural identity. The British are leaving, but the immigrants have been arriving:this is the balance sheet of the Juncker commission.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The majority of Europeans today want to see change. I hope that this will also be reflected in the election results. Strangely, bearing in mind our history, one can also see that this dissatisfaction is growing more strongly in Western Member States: precisely in the countries from where sermons are issued to Central Europe, to the Hungarians, the Slovaks, the Poles and – most recently – the Romanians. I would never have thought that we’d be fighting side by side with the Romanians in the battlefield of the European Parliament. But this is the case, Ladies and Gentlemen– and we will commit ourselves to this battle. For many years [the Hungarian think tank] Századvég has been conducting opinion polls on a wide range of issues in all 28 EU Member States. I’ve glanced through the summary of the latest research, and soon the general public will also be able to find out about it. From this it’s clear that today the general public across the EU has lost confidence in the idea that the lives of members of the coming generations will be better than people’s lives today. The European dream is broken; or, if we want to express ourselves more cautiously, we can say that it has at least been severely dented. Today the pessimists’ camp in Western countries is much larger than that in the Central European states. The proportions of people who think that the next generations will be worse off than those of today stand at 68 per cent in France, 57 per cent in Austria, 59 per cent in Italy and 52 per cent in Germany. More than half of all Germans! By contrast, in Hungary – figures for the other Central European countries are not given – this rate is only 26 per cent; and today almost half of Hungarians – I could say still only half – think that their children and grandchildren will live better than they do today.And I don’t think that they’re mistaken. As things stand today, Hungarian children will live better lives than their parents. The main source of dissatisfaction with the European elite, however,is not the increasingly difficult economic situation of the middle classes in Western European countries – although that also plays a role. The main issue is the approach to migration. According to the survey I mentioned, 70 per cent of European citizens simply say that in this area the performance of the Union is weak; 61 per cent of Europeans say that immigration is more of an obstacle to the EU economy; and only a fifth of the population – 20 per cent – say that immigration strengthens the EU economy. We justifiably speak with some bitterness about the fact that so-called “soft power” surrounding the “hard power” of politics – universities, research institutes, NGOs, civil society organisations, the media – exercises enormous influence; and I think its dominant position in Western Europe exceeds 80 per cent. But if I look at the immigration figures, I can see that even if they were three times as strong as they are now, they would have very little chance of overturning common sense.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The majority of the people in the EU continue to fear a massive influx of migrants from Africa into Europe over the coming decade. Europeans are facing a real threat: that Europe will no longer be European. Therefore they’re saying something that at first sight is surprising: the majority are saying that we should preserve our Christian culture and traditions. It’s true that in Western Europe this is the opinion of only 55 per cent, but in the West migrants are also being polled. In Central and Eastern Europe, on the other hand, the proportion of people who consider it important to protect Christian culture is 70 per cent – and in our country, Ladies and Gentlemen, the figure is 80 per cent. In a country like Hungary – where we know very well that secularisation has advanced to a very high degree, and we know exactly what proportion of people go to church – nearly 80 per cent of people, regardless of their personal faith, say that Christian culture must be protected. This is a firm and clear mandate, a direction to the Government.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

From this single notion it can be seen that Europeans simply don’t want immigration. A certain Mr. Timmermans really does want it, however, and now I’ll quote him on this word for word: “Any society, anywhere in the world, will be diverse in the future – that’s the future of the world. So Central European countries will have to get used to that.” A true orthodox Marxist and socialist message. It’s understandable for Messrs Juncker and Timmermans to be hand in glove, but we have to ask ourselves how Manfred Weber of the People’s Party could be in cahoots with someone like this.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today Europe is threatened by mass population movement, because when such a mass of people sets out from its homeland to settle elsewhere on another continent, it’s not simply a migration crisis, but mass population movement. One could venture to say that never in all human history has there been a time when migration has occurred on the scale that we’re talking about today.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Whether we like it or not, we must face the fact that mass population movement has never been peaceful. When huge masses of people are looking for a new home, the unfortunate and inevitable consequence is conflict, because they usually want to occupy territory where people are already living and settled, and are capable of defending their homes, culture and way of life. In our current situation, the destination for migration is the Western world; and within that the most vulnerable territory of all is our continent of Europe. However, Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Friends, the particular countries which become endangered targets is not a matter of pure chance. Every mass population movement has its own causes. In the current situation many people are predisposed to cite external factors such as poverty, hunger, drought, climate change, war and persecution. These are not in dispute, but we must also accept that such factors have existed before. The main reason is completely different. The main reason is the simple but painful fact that far more children are being born outside Europe than in Europe. This insight enables us to understand that the main cause of mass population movement and the resulting migration crisis in Europe is not external but internal. The reason more children are not being born in Europe is that our continent is struggling with cultural discord and identity crisis.

Dear Friends,

Migration is like an ocean within a drop of water. It reveals all the problems of Europe today: its identity crisis; its crisis of political leadership; its demographic problems; its declining competitiveness; and the antagonism between Western and Central Europe. But what it reveals most of all is the true nature of the Brussels bubble – or, as we’ve heard from Péter Szijjártó, its true intention.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Europe is a community of half a billion people; its population of 500 million is more than that of Russia and America combined. If it wanted to, Europe could halt incoming mass migration, but the fact of the matter is that it has not attempted to do so. In fact the opposite is the case: the current EU leadership supports and encourages migration, and those who try to block it – like Italy’s interior minister Mr. Salvini or me – are roundly condemned. The measures enacted by Brussels recently and currently can only be interpreted as support for migration: the weakening of Member States’ rights to border protection; the European Parliament’s vote on introducing a migrant visa; the European Parliament’s vote to significantly increase funding for organisations and political activist groups assisting immigration; providing migrants with bank cards automatically credited with funds; the launch of pilot migration programmes in cooperation with African countries; and finally the aim to break the resistance of countries opposed to such measures through the blackmail – or at least attempted blackmail – of moves to impose financial penalties on those who refuse to toe the line. This is what Brussels is planning. When it comes to migration, notice how in the end they always come round to the same point. However they twist and turn, the end result will always in some way be the promotion of immigration. It’s like that joke inherited from the communist system about the spare parts from the Soviet bicycle factory: however you assemble them, they always produce a machine gun.

Dear Friends,

In Brussels they want more power: more power over the nations of Europe. This is the aim of the plan for a supranational superstate, or “United States of Europe”. This plan is the Brussels elite’s bid for power over the nation states that constitute Europe. But standing in the way of the plan are the nation states and their Christian European culture. In the Brussels bubble a leading role is now being played by political forces and interest groups which want to eradicate the primacy of European Christian culture; their unconcealed reasoning is that if Christianity is suppressed by other cultures represented by masses of migrants, then nations can also be eliminated alongside Christianity. Demographers in Brussels – and not only in Budapest – have calculated that if the current trend continues, the number of Muslims in Europe will increase from its 2010 level of 43 million to 70 million by 2050; meanwhile the Christian population could fall by 99 million. The plans from the Brussels bubble contain no proposals on slowing down this process, but only on how it can be speeded up. This is why in Brussels we hear nothing about family policy, but every day we hear about the importance of legal migration. Three days ago the EU Commissioner for migration revealed that Brussels doesn’t want to take help to those in trouble, but to bring migrants into Europe – indeed, he said that hundreds of thousands should be taken in legally over a period of many years. In fact the programme for legal migration is the code name for a European population replacement programme. This is what we are up against in this election.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Without a trace of histrionics, and even with less emotion than is typical of an election gathering, we can calmly state that we Hungarians have lived here in the Carpathian Basin for a thousand years. And while there are different levels of ambition, we want to stay here for at least another thousand years, guarding our borders, and passing on our legacy to the next generation. I know that the bureaucrats in Brussels are spitting flames, are outraged, and are preparing the whipping bench for tomorrow’s meetings; but all the same I’ll tell you that we’ve already lived through an empire which began with the slogan “More power to the Soviets.” This is why in these parts it pains us to hear “More power to Brussels.” We want the coming generations – our children and grandchildren – to be just as free to decide on their lives as we are to decide on ours. If Europe becomes a continent of immigrants, however, future generations will not be able to choose and develop their own way of life for themselves – they will not have the right or ability to freely decide. When we fight today, we’re fighting for their rights and opportunities, and we also want to preserve this right and opportunity for them.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is for exactly this reason that the root causes of Europe’s crisis must be tackled. The Brussels elite’s bids for power must be blocked, and immigration must simply be stopped. I’ve summarised in seven points the rapid measures that we must take immediately after the elections in Europe in order to stop migration. Firstly, the task of dealing with migration must be taken out of the hands of the bureaucrats in Brussels and returned to national governments. Secondly, it must be made clear that no country will be obliged to accept migrants against its will. Thirdly, we must declare that no one will be allowed to enter Europe without valid identity papers and documentation. Fourthly, let us eliminate migrant cards and migrant visas at a stroke. Fifthly – most importantly and most satisfyingly – Brussels must not give any more money to George Soros’s immigration organisations, but instead reimburse the costs of border defence. Sixthly, in Europe no one should be discriminated against because they declare themselves to be Christian. The seventh and final point is that those authorised to do so – primarily the European Parliament and the European Council – should install anti-immigration leaders at the top of EU institutions.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

These are the most important points, and these are the ones that we are in most need of in order to stop immigration and safeguard our Christian culture.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We came here today – all of us, I think – because we believe that in a democracy the decision is in the hands of the people. From this it also follows that it is wrong for us to be confronted with a European People’s Party which is allying itself with the Left and the Liberals in advance of the elections, without even waiting for the decision of the people. I ask the Hungarian people – all of us – to sign the programme which is being introduced here, and to vote on 26 May. On 26 May go out and show Brussels, show it that the final say will not come from the shadowy offices of Soros-style NGOs and Brussels bureaucrats, but always from citizens in the polling booths.

Go for it Hungary, go for it Hungarians!


Translation provided by the International Communication Office of the Hungarian Government.

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