In Budapest, Emmanuel Macron and Viktor Orban pleaded with one voice to better protect the EU’s borders and defend nuclear energy, two axes of the future French presidency of the Council of the EU. The two men define themselves as “political adversaries but European partners”.
Arriving in Budapest on Monday, Europhile Emmanuel Macron showed his good understanding with nationalist leader Viktor Orban. The two leaders, who exchanged a warm handshake, preferred to put aside their ideological opposition to cooperate on subjects such as migration policy, European defense and the EU’s recognition of nuclear as “green” energy.
This convergence extended in the evening to all the countries of the Visegrad group (Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia) which had invited the French president to attend their summit in Budapest.
France and this group of countries hostile to the entry of migrants agree to “reform Schengen in depth, improve the protection of the external borders and make the return to the countries of origin more efficient for those who are not eligible to asylum ”.
Topics that Emmanuel Macron had mentioned Thursday among his priorities for the French presidency of the EU, which begins in January for a period of six months.
Topics such as corruption, the rule of European law, the independence of the judiciary and the rights of LGBT + minorities, on which the European Commission has initiated sanctions proceedings against Poland and Hungary, were discussed but quickly put to rest. side.
INFLEXIBLE ORBAN ON THE RULE OF LAW
Hungary “is determined not to move forward on these subjects by the April elections,” said Emmanuel Macron in substance. During this period, the EU will make “no payment” of the money from the recovery plan, he said. A sanction qualified as “political blackmail” by Viktor Orban.
“We do not have the same history and we did not go through the same twentieth century”, recognized Emmanuel Macron, explaining wanting to understand the differences of point of view between the Europhile and progressive camp of which he wants to be the leader. and the Eastern countries more sovereignist and identity.
Emmanuel Macron also took advantage of his visit to meet the leaders of the opposition, including Peter Marki-Zay, candidate of an anti-Orban front for the legislative elections next April.
Symbolic gesture, the French head of state paid tribute to the tomb of the philosopher Agnes Heller, who died in 2019, an opposition figure in Orban.