The European Union should take its rules seriously, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in the parliamentary debate of a draft resolution on Ukraine’s EU accession on Wednesday, 13 December.
If European institutions do not take these rules seriously, the entirety of the EU ‘will simply cease to exist’,
Orbán asserted. But Ukraine’s swift accession, he said, would mean that EU institutions would be asking member states, including Hungary, ‘not to follow our own rules’.
The Prime Minister noted that the European Commission had set seven specific conditions for Ukraine to meet in order to be granted candidate country status. And, unlike the existing Member States, Ukraine was granted candidate status before having met these conditions, he pointed out. Orbán insisted that even the ‘biased’ Commission had admitted that Ukraine had only met four of the seven conditions. ‘So the EU shouldn’t even have granted Ukraine candidate country status, let alone starting accession talks,’ he added.
Hungary is under pressure, he went on to state, ‘but we mustn’t be diverted away from being the voice of reason in Europe’. He appealed to both the opposition left wing and the ‘national side’ to consider Ukraine’s EU membership not as a partisan political issue, but as a national one.
Ukraine’s EU membership in its current form would be starkly against Hungary’s interests, Orbán said in the debate.
‘Ukraine can and should be helped, but no one could possibly want Hungary to be ruined in the process,’ he said. Ukraine joining the EU quickly would have unforeseeable consequences and would serve neither Hungary nor the bloc’s interests. He also stated that it was important to hold a substantive debate on Ukraine’s accession in parliament in respect of the ruling Fidesz party’s parliamentary draft resolution on Ukraine’s accession talks. Orbán said the debate in the Hungarian parliament could have an impact on Hungary and the EU’s future, yet a real debate in the EU had not taken place.
Ukraine, he noted, was given candidate status last year, four months after submitting its application for membership. Normally, PM Orbán pointed out, three years pass after an application is made and candidate status is granted. In the case of Central and Eastern European states, this process took four years. The Prime Minister said ‘naked partisanship’ undermines the authority of EU institutions, while the role of national parliaments is enhanced.
Orbán went on to say that talks with Ukraine on possible EU membership ‘right now are absurd, ridiculous, and unserious’, and the government will not support them.
Right now no one knows what Ukraine’s accession would entail or how much territory or population would be integrated into the bloc,
he said in the debate of the ruling Fidesz party’s draft resolution on Ukraine’s accession talks.
PM Orbán also said that when the EU partially opened up its market, Member States had been forced on the defensive in the areas of agriculture and transport. The country’s accession would mean handing over 17 per cent of the current EU budget, he warned.
Sources: Hungarian Conservative/MTI