The Summer Open University in the Carpathian Basin opened in Sátoraljaújhely, in north-eastern Hungary, on Thursday.
Addressing the opening, Zsolt Németh, the head of parliament’s foreign affairs committee, said it was Hungarians’ openness to success, rather than conformity to expectations from the West, that was the key to their own and Europe’s future. He said central Europe had the potential to restart “like a Mercedes-Benz” after the pandemic, and “become a success story in which Hungarians also have a role”. The principle of “your success is my success” will be the future for Europe, while “national minorities are both the engines behind and the beneficiaries of that approach”, Németh said. He insisted that central Europe was a “region of freedom” with peoples rejecting external pressures “whether from the Habsburgs, the Ottomans or Communists” as well as “the pressure from Brussels, which has recently surfaced”.
“This theoretical basis has a clear ideology, which we could call a right-wing renaissance, which determines the future ideals of a national identity, and approaches to the current state of Christian Democracy and national sovereignty,” Németh said. “Together we can resist divisive attacks, no matter what part of the world they should come from.” “Respect for national minorities, respect for neighbouring nations, and respect for ourselves, for our own national community,” Németh said.
Addressing a panel discussion on minority protection at the summer university, Justice Minister Judit Varga said that the European Union was experiencing a clash of two conflicting visions on its future. One, she said, wanted strong cooperation among strong member states, while the other was a federalist vision looking to transcend nation states and weaken natural communities and the concepts of the family, the nation and identity. Hungary along with several other European Union member states supports the idea of a strong Europe of strong nations. As regards the protection of minorities, the minister said that while the EU was prepared to protect sexual minorities “even if it means circumventing the law”, the protection of national minorities was seen as less important. “The government is continuing its fight in Brussels on this issue, constantly pointing out the use of double standards,” she said.