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A semi-official assessment of Hungary’s 20 years in the EU

May 3rd, 2024

A leading government official urges serious changes in the European Union to make the community successful again.

On Index, cabinet minister Balázs Orbán, who serves as Political Director in the Prime Minister’s office, draws five conclusions from the two decades since Hungary joined the European Union. 1. He believes the 2004 enlargement with ten countries joining the community was the Union’s last successful project. Since then, he writes, the EU has been losing ground. 2. The EU, he adds, has become Hungary’s natural environment and EU membership opened new development opportunities for Hungary. 3. Hungary, he complains, has found that traditional condescending western attitudes haven’t disappeared with EU membership over the past decades. 4. Europe is lagging behind other regions of the world in terms of economic growth, and would be well advised to seek partnerships with other parts of the globe, he suggests, without mentioning either China or Russia by name. 5. We should save Europe – and ourselves! he exclaims. If the European ship sinks, we will sink with it, he warns. We should keep the lifeboats ready, he adds, but must keep in mind that small vessels are unsafe. He therefore recommends  ‘sacking the captain’ – and ‘taking back control over our continent and our future’.

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