Hungary’s state secretary for European Union affairs participated in a panel discussion on populism at the Lennart Meri Conference in Tallinn.
Szabolcs Takács was joined on the panel, called “The Siren Calls of Populism: The Roots of Frustration at the Dawn of the EP Elections”, by a number of other international experts and politicians, among them Slovakian Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak. Takács told MTI by phone that populism was a key topic at the conference. He said that, in Hungary’s opinion, an artificial line has been drawn in the European Union pitting forces dubbed “populist” against the supporters of the so-called “progressive” side. “This is an artificial division of which the only purpose is to put political pressure on those who diverge from the mainstream,” he said. “It’s much easier to judge somebody on moral grounds than to debate with them. The elite in Brussels basically brand anybody a populist who identifies with their nation, is anti-immigration and is Christian,” he added. Takács said Hungary believes these issues will be the most important ones in the upcoming European Parliament elections.
The Lennart Meri Conference is a high-level forum held each year to discuss foreign and security policy issues from the perspective of the northern and eastern parts of Europe.