Comparing the newly re-elected government of Hungary to Cold War Communist states, EU Commission vice-president Frans Timmermans has made a thinly veiled threat towards Victor Orban’s new government, warning Europe must not allow nations in the bloc to slide into “dictatorship”.
“I have seen Europe in its different forms,” said Timmermans, speaking in Warsaw on Monday where he recalled having visited Poland and Hungary when the nations were “still [under Communist] dictatorship”.
“You are of an age that you have never seen that,” he told a journalist, declaring: “And we Europeans have a strong duty to make sure that you will never, and that my children will never, see it back again.”
The Dutch commissioner’s remarks came in response to a question on whether judicial reforms in Poland and Hungary’s reelection of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán pose a threat to the EU.
Timmermans said he felt “comforted” by pro-Brussels sentiment in the two Visegrád nations, where he said that “the vast majority” of people “feel a strong sense of belonging to the European Union”.
Orban Responds to Electoral Victory: ‘We’ve Created the Opportunity to Protect Hungary’
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) April 9, 2018
“This is what will dictate our common future,” he added, speaking after meeting the Polish prime minister and foreign minister, with whom he had discussed planned changes to Poland’s judicial structure fiercely opposed by Brussels but which the government says are vital to reform a corrupt judiciary moulded by the old Communist regime.
The landslide victory at the weekend for Fidesz — a party founded by Orbán during his youth as an anti-Communist dissident — has been seen as a major blow for the EU, with the Hungarian prime minister a leading critic of mass migration and Brussels’ determination to distribute third world migrants throughout the bloc.
Timmermans has previously slammed Orbán during an outburst in 2015 in which he claimed the whole continent must become multicultural and that nations in Central Europe need leaders “with the courage to explain [this] to their population”.
The commissioner’s rhetoric in favour of driving demographic change across the bloc reached new heights the following year, when he claimed that war will break out unless multiculturalism is imposed on all of Europe, including “even the most remote corners”.
The future o/t world is diversity. To fight diversity is like trying to unscramble scrambled eggs 🍳 It makes a mess. Let's embrace diversity
— Frans Timmermans (@TimmermansEU) April 20, 2017
“If we do not do that, Europe will not be the Europe we have built — I am firmly convinced of that,” he said, adding: “Then Europe will not be a place of peace and freedom for much longer.”
Chairing a roundtable event at the end of last month, Timmermans discussed migration, anti-Muslim discrimination, and the threats of “right-wing and ‘Islamic extremism’ with ten imams resident in EU member states.
“The Commission is strongly committed to promoting diversity in Europe. Islam is part of our history, Islam is part of our present and Islam will be part of our future,” he said in a statement to the press.
“The way we help our citizens – whatever their background may be – to embrace the diversity that is a reality in European societies is going to determine much of our collective future.”