“There is no future for Hungary without Europe, just as there is no future for Europe without Hungary,” Hungary’s President Katalin Novák said in an interview published by business portal Portfolio.hu on Saturday.
“We are an independent, sovereign, adult nation with our own values and interests,” she told Portfolio. Hungary is “not only Western-oriented, but has been an integral and inalienable part of the West for at least a thousand years,” Novák said.
She added that she was “not happy about the back and forth” between the European Commission and the Hungarian government, but said that “the sovereignty of the country must be protected.”
“We demand the same full membership and respect to which the citizens of any founder (of the EU) or subsequent accession country are entitled; a permanent seat at the table in Brussels,” she said. “It would be good to return to cooperation based on mutual respect, and that indeed requires compromise,” Novák said. According to Novák, the EU has been weakened rather than strengthened over the past decade and it now “lags behind the United States and Asia in its ability to advance diplomatic interests, demographics, and competitiveness.”
Europe has “forgotten about common strategic policymaking and has focused on ideological issues,” she said, adding, “We need to wake up.”
On the war in Ukraine, Novák said Russian President Vladimir Putin “crossed the Rubicon” by invading Ukraine, and “the so-called Western world has got no further than one person!” The goal, she said, is to “make Europe an independent, self-sustaining, economically strong, secure and peaceful area with its own defense.”
“As a president, a Christian and a mother, I vote for an early cease-fire,” she said. Regarding relations with the United States and China, the President called for the “restoration of pragmatic cooperation.” “It is in our interest to agree with both America, an ally, and China, both the West and the East,” Novák said in the interview.