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The common positions taken by the Visegrad Group countries are “fully in line” with Hungary’s national interests, and upholding them is therefore also in Hungary’s interest, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said in Warsaw, addressing a meeting of Polish ambassadors at the invitation of his counterpart Jacek Czaputowicz. Szijjártó said the Visegrad Group cooperation had proven itself the strongest and most effective alliance within the European Union in recent years. He said the alliance comprising the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia had remained successful despite efforts by the international media and the “political elite” to “tear it apart”. “Perhaps few would have thought in the past couple of years that we’d mount a successful challenge against the mandatory migrant quota scheme,” the minister said. “I think many people believed there was little chance we could prevent the appointment of Frans Timmermans as European Commission president.”

“There’s a completely false and deceitful depiction of the Visegrad Group within the European Union: they’re trying to position us as a kind of black sheep and paint us as an entity going against European unity, whereas the reality is that we want a strong Europe, but we think that this requires strong member states,” he said. “We believe that if European nations stay strong and insist on preserving their national identity, cultural, religious and historical heritage, then we can build a strong European Union again together,” the minister added. He said that although this position was in the minority in the EU today, it was still a European one.

The V4 agree that central Europe’s competitiveness can be traced back to a responsible economic policy, “which is why we refuse to support any western European proposals that would lead to tax hikes in Hungary or central Europe or those aimed at debt communitisation”, Szijjártó said, adding  that the V4 firmly believed that central Europe was a contributor to Europe’s economic performance, arguing that four out of the bloc’s five fastest-growing member states were central European countries, and three of them Visegrad countries.