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Kinga Gal: We Want to Offer a European Alternative, Not an Alternative for Europe

The Patriots for Europe party family was officially formed recently, becoming the third-largest force in the European Parliament. Kinga Gal, the first vice-president of the group, gave an interview to Magyar Nemzet. We asked her about the road leading to the formation of the group, the importance of its creation, and its most pressing tasks, especially any concrete political steps towards peace.

2024. 07. 10. 15:53
The EP group of Patriots for Europe has been formed (Photo: Boglarka Bodnar)
VéleményhírlevélJobban mondva - heti véleményhírlevél - ahol a hét kiemelt témáihoz fűzött személyes gondolatok összeérnek, részletek itt.

– On Monday, we witnessed a historic event, the formation of the Patriots for Europe party family. How were the days leading up to its formation?

– The last few days have been spent in intense negotiations and work. A week and a half ago in Vienna, Central European party leaders Viktor Orban of Fidesz, Andrej Babis of the Czech ANO party, and Herbert Kickl of the Austrian Freedom Party jointly signed the Patriots' manifesto for the future of Europe and announced their ambition to form a European Parliamentary Group. Since then, more and more parties across Europe have expressed interest in joining the group almost daily. This is how we reached Monday, when 84 MEPs from 13 European parties representing 12 member states eventually formed the third largest political group in the European Parliament. It is not often that a new group is formed in the European Parliament within such a short amount of time. The unification of patriotic, sovereignist right-wing parties is a resounding European success, and this is why the formation of this group can rightly be described as historic.

– Where or whom does the name of the party family come from, and what does it symbolize?

– It is the name that best describes who we are and what we aim to achieve. After all, we are all proud patriots who want to preserve our homeland and culture as we inherited it from our ancestors. We are able and willing to fight for our national interests. We have started to work with MEPs from parties that put the interests of their member states and electorates first and will stand up firmly against bureaucratic decisions in Brussels that seek to undemocratically disregard the interests of citizens and the sovereignty of democratically elected national governments.

We believe in the future of Europe, and it's something that we make clear in our manifesto. We believe in a strong Europe based on sovereign nation-states, and we make a resolute stand against federalist, centralist political processes in Brussels. We also clearly emphasized that we are not acting against others but for our country. We are patriots, not anti-Europeans.

During the press briefing following the formation of the group, I also underlined that we don't want to offer an alternative for Europe, but a European alternative. We are striving to pass on to our children, to future generations, all that is so wonderful about Europe: our traditions, our Christianity, our language, our landscapes, our history. These must be respected. The results of the European Parliament elections show that support for the parties representing Brussels' current direction has waned. People want a change from what Brussels' policies have signified up to now. But what happened after the elections? The Brussels elites have ignored the will of European citizens expressed through their votes. It is crystal clear that the status quo is more important to them than anything else, even enabling them to conclude unprincipled political pacts. The Brussels bureaucracy appears interested in preserving its own power. And it is because of such senseless pacts that we, patriots, felt that it was crucial to unite and form a powerful force in the European Parliament, in a bid to make a difference. We want to address the issues that really affect people. We seek to bring common sense back to European politics, in the face of the excesses of the Brussels elite. All this to preserve our values—we are thinking here of Europe's Judeo-Christian roots—to reject illegal immigration, to protect our external borders, to work for a strong, competitive Europe, and for peace and freedom on the continent. After all, the EU was initially established to maintain peace, and we see that this is what is most at risk now.

 – At the press briefing following the group's inaugural session, Tamas Deutsch said that you are the second in command in the third largest group of the European Parliament. What exactly does it mean to hold such an important position?

– Honored by the newly assembled MEPs, I was elected for the post of first vice-president, giving me a key role in keeping the group together and setting its guidelines. In practical terms, this means acting as the President's deputy across the board and fulfilling his tasks in his absence, be it attending in-house committee meetings, speaking in key debates, and other duties as laid down in our statutes. It is a great success that this group has come together and that we have created harmony between the national delegations. I have benefited greatly from my experience and institutional knowledge of the European Parliament over the last 20 years. It is a great honor to have received such confidence from my fellow MEPs to successfully achieve the noble goals we have jointly set ourselves. I am up to the challenge.

– As first vice-president, what do you think are the most urgent measures that need to be implemented swiftly?

– It is essential to prevent the implementation of the aforementioned unprincipled political pacts concluded by the mainstream in Brussels. This will not happen overnight, but time is on our side and I am confident that - as we consider the other conservative right-wing group to be our ally - we can truly effect change in terms of this political mindset, as wll as in the dominance of the Brussels bureaucracy. I hope we can do it sooner rather than later.

 Of course, we will keep the fight against illegal immigration and the protection of our external borders on the agenda, as the European Commission has made mistake after mistake in the past, for example, by pushing through the migration pact.

There is plenty to be done in this regard, as we can see that European voters are clearly expecting a change on this issue, too. We must also take concrete steps to bring this poison-green, so-called Green Deal back down to earth. Otherwise, it will destroy the security of European agriculture and farmers, not to mention our competitiveness. It is necessary to return to common sense because that is what European decision-making, Brussels' decision-making, has moved away from recently. There are a number of dossiers on the table which show that there is a strong tendency to undermine the sovereignty of nation-states, and we must therefore do everything we can to reverse these centralist, federalist tendencies and restore a policy that respects member states' remit. This will be a major debate and struggle in the period ahead.

In the short term, our goal is certainly to push forward the priorities of our concurrent EU presidency. But the most important thing is to take steps towards peace.

 To this, we want to contribute with our knowledge and political strength, and soon with our concrete votes.

– How do you see cooperation with Jordan Bardella, President of the French National Assembly?

– I have known Jordan Bardella for a long time; we have worked together as MEPs. I think he is a serious, reliable, and helpful politician who will represent and organize this group in a meaningful way. Besides, his political course is fully in line with what we have set out in our Patriots' manifesto.

 

Cover photo: Fidesz MEP Kinga Gal, first vice-president of the Patriots for Europe Group in the European Parliament and Tamas Deutsch, leader of the joint EP list of the Fidesz-KDNP party alliance attend a press briefing after the inaugural meeting of the Patriots for Europe Group in the European Parliament in Brussels, on July 8 2024. (Photo: MTI/Boglarka Bodnar)

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