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ORBÁN: C EUROPE NEEDS GREATER INFLUENCE IN EU

Central Europeans need more clout in European Union policymaking because the German-French axis has become outdated, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in an interview with Czech conservative daily Lidové Noviny.
 

The Central European region enjoys the highest economic growth rate in Europe, Orbán said in the interview published on Saturday, adding that without it Europe would fall into stagnation. Conventional wisdom used to be that central Europe needed Westerners to function, he said. But the situation has turned on its head, he said, adding that it was no longer inconceivable that Europe’s future success would be shaped by Visegrad Group countries. “That’s what I call new reality in Europe,” he added. The prime minister said Hungary must remain a part of the European Union since the common market was in the country’s interest. But central European interests now must be taken into greater consideration than before and in proportion to its economic performance, he said. “Set against our real economic performance and weight, our influence in EU decision-making is disproportionately small, and this has to change,” Orbán said. As regards the protection of traditional national identity, Orbán said whoever managed to be more persistent should win.