Hungary Today has asked JUDr. Miroslav Radačovský, MEP and Chairman of the Slovak PATRIOT Party, for his opinion concerning the current proceedings against Hungary within the European institutions.
– During the debate on the rule of law in the European Parliament, you made a short but passionate speech in favor of Hungary. What motivated you to stand up against the currently ruling mainstream?
– If my speech in the European Parliament defending Hungary had an emotional tinge, it stemmed only from a sense of injustice, unfairness, and a biased, unfounded attack on Mr. Orbán and the Fidesz party. That is how I would act as an MEP, even if it were a different country, a different party, and a different Prime Minister.
I was a judge in Czechoslovakia and later in the Slovak Republic for almost 40 years. I therefore find it alien, if not downright disgusting, to make biased assessments of anyone, including Hungary, on the basis of ideological platitudes about the supposed theft of EU funds, the suppression of the opposition press and media, the rights of national minorities and persons of a different sexual orientation, without any concrete evidence. And the report on the rule of law in Hungary was like that.
Brussels officials must realize that the Prime Minister of Hungary is not the governor of some territorial-administrative unit called Hungary, installed and controlled by the central power in Brussels. Mr. Orbán is the prime minister of a sovereign nation state of the European Union, who has been entrusted for the fourth time by the citizens to lead this state, and everyone is obliged to respect this.
Brussels is obliged to respect that nation states of the Union are not provinces either, and their leaders are not governors, although it is unfortunately true that not a few of the leaders of the nation states are behaving like governors, which is not good for the future of the Union. To attack a political party and the representatives of an EU Member State is to attack the citizens and to denigrate their sovereign right to choose what they see fit in democratic elections. And this applies to every state in the Union, not just Hungary. Brussels is probably of the opinion that it is only necessary to elect a government that it will be happy with, one that is liberal and distinctly unhealthily North Atlantic.
– What is your personal political profile and how does it overlap with that of the Hungarian government, if at all?
– After my election to the European Parliament in 2019, I came to the conclusion that the strength of Europe lies in the strength and sovereignty of the individual nation states, respecting their specificities, culture, and traditions, and that an EU citizen is first a citizen of a nation state and only then a citizen of the Union. I see the future of European coexistence in the pride and sovereignty of nation states. I am not a Eurosceptic, I am a Euro-realist. To be a European is, above all, to be a patriot of one’s homeland.
In 2021, by the will of the citizens and, above all, of younger people, by collecting approximately 20,000 signatures, the political party Slovak PATRIOT was founded, and the founding congress of this party elected me as its chairman. The programmatic objectives of the Slovak PATRIOT Party correspond closely to the attitudes and program of the current Hungarian Government. There is no doubt that the current Hungarian Government is a government of Hungarian patriots. There is no doubt that Mr. Orbán is a Hungarian patriot in his attitudes, which are based on the slogan ‘Hungary First.’
The ideological slogan of the Slovak PATRIOT party, of which I am chairman, is ‘Patriotism yes, nationalism no!’ I myself am of Ruthenian origin and of Slovak-Ruthenian nationality. The Slovak PATRIOT party is a young party, it has no former politicians in its ranks, it is not linked to any oligarchs, but for some national minorities living in Slovakia it is sometimes misunderstood because of its name, Slovak PATRIOT.
In my opinion, without wishing to attack anyone, a typical example of anti-patriotism is the speech made by a Hungarian MEP from the Jobbik party in the debate on the rule of law in Hungary, who criticized the current Hungarian Government, and he did so in English, even though the language of debate in the European Parliament is the language of every nation state, including Hungarian. A Frenchman, a German, or an Italian would never do this, and for the simple reason that they are patriots of their nation state. The fact that I, in this particular case, made part of my speech in Hungarian was merely a symbolic statement against the biased assessment of Hungary in matters of the rule of law.
– Do you think that the human rights situation in Hungary deserves such harsh treatment by the European authorities, going as far as withholding financial resources?
In all nation states, to a greater or lesser extent, there are certain violations of the rule of law as laid down in Article 2 of the Treaty of the EU. Just as an example, I will mention the strange attitude of governments in the Baltic States at the moment towards their own citizens of Russian nationality. The demolition of a monument celebrating the victory over fascism in Estonia. The prosecution and imprisonment of Catalan activists in Spain on the basis that they organized a referendum on Catalan independence. The turning of a blind eye to the as yet unexplained death and serious injuries of the former President of the Police Force of the Slovak Republic from the former government, General Lučanský, following his arrest and detention, by the current government, and whose family I represent as legal counsel in this case. There is also currently a trial under way in the Czech Republic of a former prime minister suspected of misuse of Union funds, and the European Commission is silent.
As a judge, in 2018, I tried the former President of the Slovak Republic (Andrej Kiska) in connection with the fact that he acquired lucrative land in the Tatra Mountains in a legally unacceptable way. He had to return the land. The former President had a close relationship with Mr. Soros’ foundation, and the EU was and is silent. It has focused only on Hungary. If we look at this comprehensively, then the human rights situation in Hungary is absolutely not such that Hungary should be withheld basic financial resources from the European authorities, when we do not even know why.
It seems that our Western European friends retain the thinking from the days of their empires and colonial past, when ‘disobedient provinces’ were punished by sending expeditions and installing loyal governors. Back then, as punishment for their disobedience, they did not cut their financial subsidies because they did not give them anything, they only took. Now they are going about it in a more sophisticated way, and that is not good; indeed, it is self-defeating for the future of European coexistence of sovereign nation states cooperating with each other, especially economically.
– What is the future of nation states in Europe if progressive and pro-migration parties continue to dominate Brussels and Strasbourg?
Nation states will always have a future. Nation states are indestructible, because you would have to destroy the nation, and nobody has managed to do that yet. You can humiliate a nation, temporarily enslave it, occupy it, but you cannot destroy it. This is a historical fact.
It is true, however, that as long as progressive and unthinking illegal migration-supporting parties continue to dominate in Brussels and Strasbourg, this may lead to frustration, a sense of humiliation, helplessness, and perhaps even partial de-nationalization, which may ultimately lead to resentment, even hostility. For you can never force a nation to get rid of its history, its Christian and other traditions on which it was founded and which it wants to be respected from the position of equal, and not from the position of superior and subordinate.
– Cooperation within the Visegrad 4 is currently at a freezing point. Czech foreign policy is not only Europhile and pro-North Atlantic, but also anti-Orbán. The Poles are slowly returning to cooperation with Budapest, but cannot come to terms with the radically different approach of the two countries towards Russia. But what has led Slovakia to throw away such an important regional cooperation as the V4?
I do not subscribe to the notion that cooperation within the V4 is currently at a freezing point. If something is frozen, it will cease to live and no one will resurrect it. What I am saying is that V4 cooperation is currently asleep and needs to be woken up.
And this is only possible if V4 citizens realize that V4 cooperation is essential. The economically strong EU states, because of their size and population, assert themselves in the voting in the European Parliament and try to dictate their way of life and their approach to economy and foreign affairs to other nation states, which certainly includes the V4 states. It is therefore essential for the V4 nation states to wake up, to form a peaceful defensive bloc that will be a bulwark against similar actions, as the one currently in progress against Hungary, but also against Poland.
It is true that the current Slovak Government has not been particularly keen to promote regional cooperation in the V4, but I dare say that I know the situation in Slovakia and the Slovak people have a positive attitude towards the V4 countries as their neighbors.
– The current Slovak government is in its last days, do you think that the next one will be one with which Budapest will be able to form a united front against the centralizing ambitions of Brussels?
I dare to express the opinion that in the next elections in Slovakia, which may even be early elections, the next government will no longer be made up of the current political establishment. There is a strong presumption that a possible future new government will adopt a positive attitude towards cooperation in the V4 and will not be an obstacle to the creation of a unified approach against centralizing ambitions in Brussels.
Featured Photo: Courtesy of Miroslav Radačovský