The two-day EU Council summit took place in Brussels, Belgium last week. This executive body of the European Union is made up of the heads of state or government of the 27 member states, the Council President, as well as the President of the European Commission, who all convened in the Belgian capital to discuss a wide array of important matters.
Day one of the event, 23 March, was dominated by a clash between German chancellor Olaf Scholz and the European Commission over the banning of combustion-engine cars from 2035. Germany, the fourth largest automobile manufacturing nation in the world, is evidently pushing to find a way to keep selling these vehicles after the deadline, something the Commission is insisting on sticking to its finalised plans.
The recent US bank collapses and, subsequently, economic stability within the European Union, was also a prime topic on the summit’s agenda. On this subject,
Chancellor Scholz happily shared his view that the European banking system is stable, and well-protected by previously implemented EU regulations.
Furthermore, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy joined the discussion about the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian war via video.
Evidently, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán also attended the high-profile event. On his Twitter page, he made it very clear what are the high-priority issues for him and his country. His post reads ‘NO MIGRATION, NO GENDER, NO WAR’.
These ‘bumper sticker’ slogans refer to long-held positions of the Orbán administration. They have been for defending the borders from mass migration coming from the Middle East and Africa since the European migration crisis erupted in 2015, have been against the teaching of modern gender theory in schools, and have been advocating a negotiated peace between Ukraine and Russia for a long time.
After the summit concluded, PM Orbán took to his social media yet again to share what he was able to accomplish while attending the two-day conference. He wrote on Facebook:
‘The EU summit has come to an end. The Central-European countries have agreed: under the coordination of [Polish Prime Minister] Mateusz Morawiecki, we are collectively taking a stance to protect the farmers from the negative effects of the Ukrainian grain dumps.’
This statement by the PM refers to millions of metric tonnes of grain exports coming into the EU from Ukraine, which have been pushing down crop prices across the continent, thus hurting local agricultural workers. After the EU summit, Vitkor Orbán travelled to Belgrade, Serbia to meet Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić.