The must-have newsletter about Hungary


Europe must strike a precarious balance between national sovereignty and European cooperation lest it falls into "the minefield of national conflicts or becomes a bureaucratic machine of power," Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said.

That balance hinges on tolerant and strong, “Hungarian-style” leaders who love their countries as much as Europe, Orbán said in Veszprém, in western Hungary, opening the ActiCity Dance and Movement Centre. Instead, “there is often intolerance, weakness and heartlessness,” he said. The prime minister said cooperation between European states had always been “difficult and complicated”. The EU was created as the modern form of European cooperation to achieve peace and prosperity, he said. But today, “we are up to our jugular in a war”, he said, adding that the economic situation and prospects were gloomy. “If the European Union can’t fulfil its original mission, what is it for?” Unless that question is answered, “the days of lovely traditions and programmes like the European capital of culture are numbered,” he said. “But let us not torture ourselves with such difficult questions today. We came to celebrate; let us be happy to have reason to do so. Long live the cultural capital of Europe, long live Veszprém! Long live the European Union!” he said.