“Under the current circumstances it would be impossible today for Hungary to join the European Union”
by Guy Verhofstadt
“Dear Colleagues, Mr. Prime Minister,
I will not go so far as the late John McCain who called you — on the Senate floor — “a neofascist in bed with Putin”. And I also won’t come back to all the violations of the rule of law as listed in this report on Hungary. The inconvenient truth is, that under the current circumstances it would be impossible today for Hungary to join the European Union.
My intervention is directed today towards our colleagues, especially in the EPP. Because they have to vote on the report, not you Mr. Orbàn. I ask them to follow their conscience. I know it’s not easy to distance yourself from someone who is in the same political family for twenty year.
- And that is my first point: I know what I am talking about. I had to push Mr. Jorg Haider of the FPÖ out of the liberal family once. I did it because it makes sense to sacrifice size for principle.
- There is a second reason why I appeal to your conscience. We are in an existential battle for the survival of the European project and in this we need you on our side. Orbàn said it openly in a press conference with Salvini — he wants to destroy the project. For Europe’s sake, we need to stop him.
- And the third reason, is that the European Union was founded on the christen-democratic principles, beliefs and energy. Schuman, De Gàsperi, Adenauer, Monnet. May I recall the words of Robert Schuman — and I quote: “Christianity teaches us equality of all men without distinction between race, colour, class or profession. […]The dignity of each human person, in protection of his individual liberty and with respect of his individual rights by practising brotherly love to all.”
So I want to plead with you, my Christian-democratic colleagues: the way Schuman saw Christianity is exactly the opposite of the divisive, narrow, destructive vision of Orbán. Dear collegues, don’t you see that he is the seed of discord that will ultimately destroy our beautiful European project. Please stop this nightmare!”