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PMO Head on von der Leyen’s Pro-migration Views: ‘We Expect Tolerance’

MTI-Hungary Today 2019.07.04.

The new leaders of the European Union’s institutions should be “granted trust in advance”, the head of the Prime Minister’s Office said at his weekly press briefing on Wednesday.

Gergely Gulyás said the Hungarian government and ruling Fidesz had different positions on several issues than some of the candidates, but “the head of the European Commission should act as guardian of the treaties despite those differences”. It is important that “our goals of stopping migration, protecting Christian culture and ensuring respect for a Europe of nations should not be the targets of attacks”, Gulyas said.

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Gulyás insisted that the “cooperation and unity of the Visegrad countries have proved to be solid”. He added that the V4 cooperation was the strongest such initiative within the EU. “Belonging to one region overrides the V4 prime ministers’ different [European] party affiliations,” he added.

Gulyás also said that neither Frans Timmermans nor Manfred Weber had the ability to promote consensus between member states. “In light of recent developments the spitzenkandidat-system has failed,” Gulyás said.

He added that Hungary’s voters had supported Fidesz in the European Parliament “not because Weber was the spitzenkandidat of the European People’s Party but rather in spite of it”. He insisted that Weber had “insulted Hungarian voters” when he said he did not wish to be European Commission president if it was up to Fidesz’s support. As for Timmermans, Gulyás said that the focus of his activities was to “attack Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic” and “make the crudest, insinuating remarks on democratically elected leaders”.

Gulyás said he saw a good chance that Ursula von der Leyen, as commission head, would “mediate fairly between member states” and perform well in the role of guardian of the treaties.

“We don’t have a problem if somebody else has different views on migration unless they want to force their position on us,” Gulyás said. “We just expect tolerance.”

Featured photo by Attila Kovács/MTI