The Hungarian government has blasted the EU, saying in its current state it delivers “neither peace nor prosperity” to member states. Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who is attending a summit of leaders of the bloc in Brussels, gave a similar assessment ahead of the event.
Orban’s position was relayed by his government’s official Facebook account on Tuesday, the first day of the high-profile two-day gathering. The statement apparently came from an interview that the Hungarian leader gave to the German media earlier in the week.
Asked by the daily Bild whether he could explain the rising popularity of Alternative for Germany (AfD), a right-wing political party, the prime minister cited disillusionment with the EU as a possible cause.
“The European Union was created for two reasons. The first is peace – and now there is war. The second is prosperity – the economy is in an increasingly worrying state, it is difficult to maintain competition and it is increasingly difficult to ensure prosperity for people,” Orban argued.
Hungary stands out among EU members for having consistently criticized the Western approach to the Ukraine conflict. Arming and training Kyiv’s troops and punishing Russia with economic sanctions have not brought a truce any closer and have caused serious damage to the bloc itself, according to Budapest.
Ukraine is one of the top items on the agenda of the EU summit. The bloc’s leaders are expected to offer some form of security guarantees to Kyiv and provide assurances of continued military assistance.