Stakes Are High in EP Elections, Parliamentary Group Leader of Christian Democrats Says

The wild rampage of self-destructive ideological trends could destroy the European Union, this community that deserves a better fate, Istvan Simicsko, the parliamentary group leader of the Christian Democratic People's Party (KDNP) told Magyar Nemzet in connection with the stakes of next year's EP elections. Speaking about the municipal elections held concurrently, the politician said that the governing parties must nominate credible and confident candidates in all constituencies. The Christian Democrats are in a strong alliance of comradeship with Fidesz, a tried and tested construct, he said about his party's role in the campaigns.

2023. 12. 28. 16:15
20231109 Budapest Simicskó István, a KDNP frakcióvezetője Fotó: Kurucz Árpád (KA) Magyar Nemzet Fotó: Kurucz Árpád
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How do you look back on 2023?

It's been a difficult year. Last December, we were still hoping that the Ukraine-Russia war and the utterly senseless bloodshed in our neighborhood would come to an end. We in Hungary have felt in the flesh the consequences of this. Mainly due to misguided EU sanctions, we have faced serious difficulties both in supplying fuel to the country and in securing energy used for heating. Nevertheless, thanks to the policy followed by the national-Christian government, Hungary's economy returned to stable growth, and by the autumn, war-related inflation had been driven down to single digits.  During the negotiations with the European Union, we fought for compromises on the sanctions, and contrary to the original ideas, the final packages that were adopted did not lead to an insoluble crisis in Hungary.

Managing the crisis triggered by the economic impact of the pandemic and the war, and by irresponsible EU measures, is a challenging task in itself, but in addition to all this, we have had to constantly defend our position on the international stage, as the EU withholds huge sums of money - Hungary is rightfully entitled to - for political reasons, and seeks to put pressure on us by various means in a bid to force us to give up our clearly defined national interests to meet some vague requirements set by Brussels.

Another tragic event was the insidious Hamas attack on Israel, with thousands of innocent people falling victim to violence. It is shocking and thought-provoking, even foreboding, how the global public is no longer united when it comes to condemning a brutal terrorist attack. The senseless and violent taking of innocent human life can never be excused on the basis of subjective political judgement.

Meanwhile, the Left in Hungary has been embroiled in the biggest funding scandal of all time.

Unfortunately, the Left in Hungary is still trying to understand the crushing defeat it suffered in last year's elections. Enslaved to rolling dollars, the Left is unable to learn from its own mistakes. The Left shows no signs of engaging in politics alongside Hungary's interests and continues to work against Hungary in Brussels. Left-wing MEPs have consistently argued that Hungary should not receive the EU money it is entitled to. They want to put the government in a difficult situation, and they don't care that they also cause damage to the Hungarian people. Foreign interest groups supported them with huge sums of money in the previous parliamentary elections so that by deceiving voters, through lies and manipulation, a more cooperative power, which is less committed to Hungarian national interests, can take over at the helm. Fortunately, their attempt failed: the Hungarians made a decision and entrusted the leadership of the country to the national-Christian government.

We have two elections coming up next year. What will be the key themes in the campaigns for the EP elections and the Hungarian municipal elections?

The stakes are very high in the next EP elections. We we have to decide in which direction the community should go. If the European Union does not find its way back to its Christian roots, to the path set by the founding fathers, and if the Brussels elite does not face up to reality, then the senseless migration policy, the utter mismanagement of the Ukraine-Russia armed conflict and the wild rampage of self-destructive ideologies could tear apart this community worthy of better fate.

This must be stopped! We need as many MEPs as possible with an eye for vision and the ability to turn the EU’s steering wheel towards safe waters rather than raging waves. Therefore, we must emphasize to voters what is really at stake in the vote.

 The same applies to the municipal elections, which will be held at the same time as the EP elections. The Fidesz-KDNP alliance must nominate credible and confident candidates everywhere in the country. In many municipalities, which have been governed by the left for five years, public life is rife with scandals. The left-wing parties are at loggerheads, fighting a bloody battle for positions. Indebted local governments, incompetent decisions, a plethora of advisers, and murky cronyism mark the Left's footprints. Budapest is a prime example that it is not worth entrusting them with local management. Under Istvan Tarlos, Hungary's capital was a prosperous city with a sound budget. Instead of delivering on high-sounding promises, they emptied the treasury and created serious urban traffic problems.  We need to show people that there is an alternative, and that running a city goes beyond designating bike lanes and bee pastures, that it is possible to promote real development and progress in settlements.

What role will the KDNP play in the campaigns?

The KDNP is in a strong alliance of comradeship with Fidesz, which is a tried and tested construct, and the Christian Democratic "sail" of this cooperation ensures that we always move towards a common goal.

The European Commission recently decided to release some of the EU funds for Hungary. When will our country be able to receive further funds?

 I hope that these funds will actually become accessible as soon as possible. We have fully delivered on our commitments in this regard. If the politically motivated resistance from Brussels ceases, the money that Hungarians are entitled to could soon be unlocked. One of the reasons why a conservative turnaround in Brussels in the forthcoming EU elections would be important is that if those parties that agree with Hungary's stance on issues such as migration or sanctions win a majority, then the series of unfair and unjustified attacks to which we are currently exposed to will come to an end. I'm convinced of this.

The government has asked people for their opinion for the thirteenth time in a national consultation survey.  Ukraine's accession to the EU is one of the key issues in the survey. What would be the consequences of Ukraine gaining EU membership?

The real problem is that none of the EU institutions has actually assessed this in full detail. What is certain is that Ukraine's disastrous economic situation, its vast territory and the incredibly high risk of corruption would entail a complete change in the EU's existing funding system. The area-based agricultural subsidies scheme would also be upset. Not to mention that the legal or other conditions are not in place for Ukraine to join the European Union. What's the size of Ukraine's territory?  What's the size of its population?

As is known, the country is at war with Russia, and millions have fled their homeland. I empathize with the Ukrainian people, they deserve peace and a better quality of life, but there are many questions, while there are no official and reassuring answers yet. Without answers, Ukraine cannot join the community of the European Union.

As in the past, the Left once again fails to consider it important to listen to the opinion of Hungarians. What could be the reason? Why does the Hungarian left regularly criticize the national consultation process?

We have said umpteen times that the Hungarian left engages in politics in a self-defeating manner. It simply cannot respect and take into account people's opinions, which is why they fail in the elections time and again. However, what they conclude from failures is not that they need to change, but that they need to better meet the political expectations of their foreign donors. Obviously, the opinion of Hungarians will not shape these foreign interests, so from the Democratic Coalition to Momentum, through to other parties coordinated by [ex-PM] Ferenc Gyurcsany, left-wing politicians are not really interested to find out what the people want. 

There is huge migratory pressure on our country. How can Hungary's security be safeguarded in such a situation?

We simply have no choice but to hold out. We must protect our borders even amid political and economic pressures. Today it is clearer than ever to everyone that the only lasting and effective solution to migration pressure was offered by Hungary. We have put in place technical barriers and legal conditions to stop illegal migration, built  strong border defense and we fundamentally question any EU solution that would mandate member states to take in millions of people who bring foreign culture, religion and language with them, and for the most part, do not want to adapt.

The forthcoming EP elections may also be a wake-up call for leaders in other countries to realize that they have been pursuing policies that go against their European and national interests. We need to seek allies and develop as useful and close cooperation as possible with the "awakened" states.

The KDNP devotes special attention to helping Hungarian families. Are there any new family support measures to be expected next year?

As a party for families, we are extremely proud that even in difficult economic circumstances, we have managed to protect our achievements. Increasing family support is the only viable alternative to the demographic crisis, and our accomplishments are highly appreciated by experts internationally. But we cannot sit back and relax. We are constantly making improvements and adjustments to the system that makes it easier for families to have children and to live their daily lives. There's the upgraded family housing subsidy scheme and hosts of support measures that will continue to help families in Hungary in 2024. Supporting families is a national strategic issue for the Christian Democrats, and no war or crisis can make us give up on this.

Cover photo: Istvan Simicsko, parliamentary group leader of the Christian Democrats (Photo: Arpad Kurucz)


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