Hungary’s Orban slams current EU policies, calls for new leadership
04/22/2024 // Belle Carter // Views

When delivering his speech in front of the European Parliament on Tuesday as part of a public discussion with Former Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and the leader of the French National Rally party, Fabrice Leggeri, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban condemned the European Union's (EU) current leaders as well as their "failed policies." He also repeatedly called for fresh new leadership because current top officials have proven entirely unsuccessful.

"Now we have a leadership in the EU with some major projects selected by themselves like green transition, RRF (Recovery and Resilience Facility) policy, migration, war in Ukraine and sanctions policy and they all failed," Orban argued. "The present leadership of the European Union must go away. And we need new leaders." (Related: Hungarian PM Viktor Orban accuses EU of resorting to BLACKMAIL to force his support to Ukraine.)

According to the Hungarian leader, the rule of law and conditionality system created by the current EU leadership has "proved to be… an instrument of political blackmailing. You do not get the money if you do not behave as we expect." He also revealed that Hungary never received funds from the RRF because European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has openly voiced dissatisfaction with Budapest's reluctance to accept migrants and its opposition to the bloc's gender policies.

Moreover, the EU's green transition "has failed because it has gone against the economic and industrial" interests of the bloc, he further said. A switch towards climate neutrality should not be "politically motivated," otherwise "it would destroy the competitiveness of the European economy. That is where we stand today," he explained.

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When it comes to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Oban has publicly refused to provide arms to Kyiv. He also has consistently criticized the bloc's sanctions against Russia over the conflict. The time has come for Brussels to define "what it should do with the issue of the war" to find a solution to the crisis and prevent similar ones in the future, he insisted.

In a post on X, formerly Twitter, he is still calling for revamp in the EU management, saying: "It’s time to get rid of the failed #Brussels bureaucrats. We need a change in Brussels!" and ended the social media post with #NoMigration #NoGender #NoWar.

In fact, during the keynote speech at the National Conservatism Conference on Wednesday, he again called for a change in leadership of the bloc. "The sense of this European election is to change the leadership," he said. "If the leadership proves to be bad, it must be replaced. It's that simple." Orban is bidding to tilt the EU in his direction after June's European election, for which polls currently forecast a right-wing surge. A rightward swing is believed to drastically shift EU policies on key issues.

Watch Orban's speech below.

Europe is slipping into ‘everyday fascism’: Orban

The populist leader of Hungary said during the conference in Brussels, that a mayor had tried to ban, Europe was backsliding into "everyday fascism." He added that in many European countries, every day, oppression is growing against those who fight for freedom. On the other hand, he praised Lassaad Ben Yaghlane, the Tunisian who owns the nightclub where the meeting took place, for defying political pressure. "Freedom in Europe and especially in Brussels is in danger," he warned.

He looked back and said that in Hungary, authorities did everything they could to block our meetings by threatening venues. "The same tactics are used today in Brussels and Europe," he pointed out.

The attempt by Emir Kir, a mayor of a Brussels district, to stop the gathering of hard-right European politicians was overturned by a senior judge in the early hours of Wednesday. Francis Van Nuffel, from the Conseil d'Etat, the country's top administrative court, ruled against the ban. It came after Alexander De Croo, the prime minister, attacked the ban as "unconstitutional." Jean-Paul Van De Walle, a lawyer at the Brussels bar acting for the conference, filed an emergency legal challenge. He said Van Nuffel had rejected the ban as a breach of fundamental requirements of free speech, dismissing claims that the provocative views of speakers would "lead to violent reactions."

"What happened yesterday was not inspired by security concerns but rather ideological concerns," he said. "It's basically silencing people you disagree with, which should never happen in a democratic society. It was a huge blow for Brussels as the capital of European democracy."

The judicial ruling rejected claims the event posed a serious risk and judged that the "requirement of extreme urgent necessity" for a ban had not been met. As per Van Nuffel, the authorities should at least have tried to protect the people exercising their constitutional right to assembly. De Croo welcomed the ruling. "Our constitution sides with the citizen, their free speech and freedom to assemble," he said.

Eric Zemmour, the French leader of the radical right-wing party Reconquete, accused the mayor of trying to stage an illegal coup. "I don't think the man has yet understood all the rules of European democracy. He is more in favor of [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan,” he said about Kir's support for the authoritarian Turkish president.

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