Brussels Must Be Occupied! But How?

I have been thinking a lot since the Fidesz prime minister’s speech in March about the new governing party slogan, which has been used consciously by the party’s leading politicians and paid mouthpieces ever since, that „Brussels must be occupied”. At first I let it slip, because I thought it was just the usual gibberish that the copywriters in their fervour put in front of the head of government. The more they say in propaganda, however, the more absurd it all seems and the question arises again (as it has so many times over the last fifteen years) whether in the Carmelite they really think their own electorate so stupid, or whether it is that they have finally lost their minds after so many rounds of two-thirds out-of-control power!

„Occupy Brussels,” trumpets the „pro-peace” government. Excuse me? What and how? I am a political eyewitness, not a fool, so I understand exactly that this is a figure of speech and not machine-gun aggression and military incursions like Putin’s doing in Ukraine. I understand that it is about seizing the ideological and political majority, and I also understand that the (slowly but surely dwindling) ruling party crowd are not aware of the exact workings of the European Union, which means that they can be told anything, but I am genuinely amazed that they have the nerve to so bamboozle their own electorate.

„Brussels doesn’t yet understand that it’s not worth messing with the Hungarians – so Brussels must be occupied. It’s time for the Council in Brussels to start shaking”, the „street-fighting prime minister” said on 15 March. He is a clever man, he has seen a lot of the world and he knows exactly that Brussels and the European majority cannot just be ‘occupied’. That is why what he is doing is again despicable and dishonest.

Let’s start with the fact that the Prime Minister of Fidesz has been present in the Council of Heads of State and Government of the European Union since he took office, he sits at the common table and has the mandate to shape European processes. How far he is able and willing to do so is another question. So he does not need to occupy the European Council, as he has been sitting there with the other leaders for more than a decade.

Likewise in the Council of the European Union, where the ministers of the government he leads represent Hungary in policy forums and try to find compromises on European issues along Hungarian interests; of course, for a long time they have done the least of this: nowadays they usually prefer to veto and blackmail at the behest of the Carmelite. So there is no need to occupy the Council of the European Union either, since that is where the delegates of the Fidesz government sit and have the opportunity to shape EU affairs along their own interests or their boss’s instructions.

Orbán’s new political slogan also takes Fidesz voters for fools in the context of the European Parliament elections, since even if a large segment of the Orange camp will go and vote for the list led by Tamás Deutsch, they will not be able to „occupy Brussels”. I have bad news; the case is still the same even if Fidesz wins all 21 seats Hungary is entitled to, for some absurd reason. After all, the European Parliament currently has 705 MEPs from 27 Member States, and however the advance of the far-right, anti-European, and in many cases admittedly pro-Russian forces will go, after 9 June, the majority of the decision-makers will still be of the Christian-conservative People’s Party who are certainly interested in a strong and united EU and who are committed to European values (and therefore open to compromise), the Social Democrats and the Liberals and Greens, who are likely to be in retreat.

So whatever the size of the delegation of Tamás Deutsch and Fidesz, Viktor Orbán will not be the occupant/controller of the European Community; the corrupt mafia state of the NER will remain a distorted, Eastern European vestige. This will be the case even if Fidesz manages to create a new, extremist, illiberal faction in the European Parliament with other anti-European political forces (which it has tried to do in the past, but so far without success). What Orbán and Fidesz’s new political slogan are asking for and promising voters is ridiculous, childish and an outright lie at once.

And for those who are committed and persistent supporters of Fidesz’s current policies, I would like to reiterate the idea of the last election programme of the governing party in force, which was prepared for the EP elections in 2009. Since then, Fidesz would like to forget this written document and erase its traces, but just as the Internet does not forget, neither do I, as a political witness. In the massive document entitled „Yes, Hungary can do better!”, Fidesz members (including, for example, the current list leader Tamás Deutsch) who are preparing to occupy, subjugate and discipline Brussels made the following commitments and ideological statements, which cannot be recalled often enough amidst the sea of lies:

„(…) We have often found ourselves in a situation where the interests of Hungarian citizens were represented by Brussels against the Hungarian government. In many cases, Brussels’ enforcement of EU standards served to restrain the Socialist – Free Democrat government. It is certain that without EU membership the government would have pursued an even more irresponsible economic policy and would have acted even more arbitrarily with regard to fundamental democratic rights. So EU values, principles, goals and policies are not a burden in today’s Hungarian politics, but a handhold and we are confronted daily with the government’s dismal performance.”

„(…) The government’s every attempt is clearly aimed at shifting the blame for all the consequences of its dilettantism, its historically unprecedented corruption and its unscrupulous abuse of power to the European Union, among others. One of the serious consequences of this is that Hungarian public opinion, sensing the dramatic deterioration of the country and of its own situation is to a large extent blaming European integration and our membership of the EU for the hopeless situation. As a result, the perception of the European Union in the eyes of the Hungarian public has deteriorated dramatically in recent years. Thus, a phenomenon not uncommon in Europe has also occurred in Hungary, whereby the European integration process has finally come under fire because of the problems caused by our own government. Fidesz’s integration policy in recent years has not accepted this, and will continue to make it clear to the people who bears the responsibility for the country’s accelerating decline and for the political, moral and economic crisis we are experiencing.”

„(…) Brussels is not Moscow. The realisation that EU membership is an opportunity, not the jackpot in itself, requires the Hungarian government to finally understand that we cannot always point the finger at Brussels; the EU is us. The decisions taken by the EU institutions are not external dictates, but decisions in which we participate. Our task is therefore to shape Community decisions in accordance with our own interests. In doing so, we must not just focus on the next few minutes; we have a responsibility to create a liveable world for the long term.”

If my Fidesz colleagues no longer have this election programme and pledge collection, because they have thrown out and destroyed all the remaining pieces, I would be happy to lend you a copy I recently found in a second-hand bookshop. If they had delivered on what they promised and pledged in it at the time, I would be living in a more European, democratic and prosperous Hungary. After they have radically contradicted this, they will have to answer first to their own consciences, then to their electorates, and finally to the historical memory of our shared homeland.

dr. István Ujhelyi

Member of the European Parliament

Founder of the Community of Chance


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