Hungarian, Austrian and German politicians underlined the importance of understanding and tolerance in building a unified and successful Europe, at a conference ahead of the 30th anniversary of the Pan-European Picnic, in Sopron, in western Hungary, on Sunday. Gergely Gulyás, head of the Prime Minister’s Office, told the roundtable discussion that the European Union was getting bogged down in “pointless internal disputes”, and accused the “West” of being intolerant of “those who think differently”.
He said the reason why western and eastern Europe disagreed on certain issues such as migration was because of the differences in how the two regions progressed over the course of history. Additionally, he said, there were also “countless” cultural and value-related differences between them, which they needed to be tolerant of. Asked about accusations that Hungary has failed to show solidarity when it came to migration, Gulyás said that those who make such accusations “conflate solidarity with folly”. Solidarity comes in many different forms, he said, adding that he did not think that any western European country pursued a more “morally correct” migration policy than Hungary. A policy that does not encourage the protection of Europe’s external borders, but instead sends the message that hundreds of thousands should set off from there, “is morally no more defensible, in fact, it is more indefensible” than Hungary’s policy of border protection and taking help where it is needed, Gulyás said.