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Magyar Nemzet on the PM’s speech on foreign policy

July 19th, 2013

A right-wing columnist cautiously suggests that Hungary cannot afford to be at odds with the European Union and should avoid becoming marginalised.

“First and foremost it is indispensable to pacify our relations with the European Union”, Gábor Stier writes in his Magyar Nemzet editorial. Commenting on the Prime Minister’s remarks at the annual meeting of Hungarian ambassadors (see BudaPost, July 18), the pro-government commentator thinks Mr Orbán was right to remark that European institutions have become increasingly powerful over the past years at the expense of member countries. He believes, however, that there are also other disquieting trends, like the decreasing weight of the non-Euro-zone countries, a phenomenon he describes as a marginalisation process. Stier warns that “launching a war of liberation against the European Union can hardly be a solution”. He believes “certain remarks by the Prime Minister which could be misunderstood were motivated by domestic political considerations”, and standing up for the national interest actually “requires a lot more than angrily banging one’s fist on the table”. Previous (left-wing) governments excelled in toeing the Brussels line, without achieving any tangible results, but it would be a mistake “to go from one extreme to another”, Stier argues. He explains that the (vulnerable) state of the Hungarian economy leaves limited room for diplomatic manoeuvring, and “wanton bullying” might easily backfire. Stier welcomes the new “Eastern opening” strategy announced by the government, but warns that Hungary is a valuable partner in the eyes of the eastern countries targeted by that initiative only as a solid member country of the European Union.

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