‘We are waiting for Swedish government officials to reassure the members of the Hungarian parliament; our goal is to support Sweden’s NATO accession with the largest possible parliamentary majority, similarly to Finland’s,’ said the political director of the prime minister on public Kossuth radio’s Sunday news programme.
Balázs Orbán stated that ‘the situation is as clear as day: we also support Swedish accession, the government has already decided on it, it’s now up to the parliament [to ratify it], but there is a small obstacle.’
Some Hungarian MPs are worried because what they see is that in recent years, Swedish government officials have made a habit of constantly questioning the state of Hungarian democracy, as well as insulting Hungarian voters and their representatives, and thus the whole of Hungary, he said. He indicated that Hungary would refrain from taking a position on Swedish domestic political issues, but it expects the same from others regarding Hungarian issues. Hungarian representatives would like to receive reassurance that political disputes between the two sides no longer exist and there are no problems with the foundations of Hungarian-Swedish cooperation, he noted.
He said that in the case of Finland, there is a ‘special historical friendship and alliance’; ‘it seems that we have received confirmation from the Finns that these problems [of criticism of Hungarian domestic affairs] will not persist in the future,’ but this is not the case with Sweden.
Hungary Continues to Advocate for a Ceasefire and Peace
Regarding the Russo-Ukrainian war, the political director said: ‘There will only be losers in this war; it is in Europe’s and Hungary’s interest for peace negotiations to begin as soon as possible after the ceasefire, and to settle Europe’s security in the long term.’
Balázs Orbán highlighted at the European Union summit held this week that Hungary supports proposals to develop defence cooperation, that is, for member states to be able to defend themselves against any military threat, but is not willing to have weapons procured from Hungary or through Hungary end up on the Ukrainian-Russian front as a result of these instances of cooperation. ‘We support the joint procurement of weapons, but only the Hungarian military and Hungarian soldiers should benefit from it, so we continue to stand by the principle that we will not participate in the conflict with weapons shipments,’ he pointed out.
Hungary-Poland Reactivate Cooperation
Regarding the issue of Ukrainian duty-free grain flowing into Europe through solidarity corridors, which negatively affects the local farmers of six countries, he said that ‘Central European and Polish-Hungarian cooperation has been reactivated.’ An agreement has been reached to jointly pressure the European Commission to come up with a compensatory mechanism for all affected states. The political director of the prime minister expressed hope that through joint action coordinated by Poland, they will be able to provide ‘good news’.
Defending National Borders Should Be a Priority
Balázs Orbán also reported that migration was briefly discussed at the EU summit. He indicated that the European Council had previously called on the European Commission to strengthen border protection and support member states defending the EU against illegal migration with legal and financial tools in the conclusions adopted. ‘The Commission President reported on certain progress, but these seem to be more of an evasive nature,’ he said.
The political director emphasised that the Hungarian approach is clear: while there is support for training and equipping forces involved in border protection, there can be no EU funding for the construction or reinforcement of fences, and there can be no turning point. Currently, EU law and its interpretation in Brussels do not support the Hungarian border protection system, but instead are trying to undermine its effectiveness. The European Commission is in default and does not implement the conclusions of the Council, he added.
Balázs Orbán underscored that the pressure of illegal migration is constantly increasing in the southern border area, and Hungary is committed to strengthening the border fence and has requested support to do so ‘but the Union continues to support an immigration-friendly stance.’
Demographic Challenges Affect the Future of the EU
He also mentioned that the final declaration of the EU summit includes a call to address the demographic challenges facing Europe. Demographic problems and negative trends related to Europe’s family policies affect the future, competitiveness, and opportunities of Europe in the global space, and must be addressed, ‘not in the sense that we need to invent more than two biological genders, but we need to support traditional families who have children,’ and if there is an opportunity for EU cooperation in this regard, it should be increased.