Exclusive: After Trump Visit, Hungarian MEP Says Strengthening NATO, EU-U.S. Relationship Essential

Newly elected Hungarian MEP Balázs Hidvéghi of Fidesz by the Danube river in Budapest.
Chris Tomlinson/Breitbart London

BUDAPEST, Hungary — The relationship between the European Union and the United States must be strengthened along with NATO cooperation, newly-elected Member of European Parliament Balázs Hidvéghi told Breitbart London in an exclusive interview.

Mr Hidvéghi, who served as communications director for Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz party, told Breitbart London during a sitdown at his Budapest office that the relationship between the United States and Europe must remain strong and highlighted the importance of the NATO military alliance, calling for increased spending on defence across the continent.

“I think Europe should do more to strengthen its defence capabilities. Militarily, Europe needs to grow up, and defence-wise, and we need to spend more and do more,” Hidvéghi said.

“Obviously staying within the network and context of NATO, which remains the largest and most successful military alliance and we are devoted to NATO. But Europe should do more on its own and that’s what we would also like to support,” he added.

Strengthening the NATO alliance has been a major foreign policy point for U.S. President Donald Trump, who has pushed for European nations to contribute more on defence spending.

Last year, President Trump attended an emergency NATO session stating that there had been agreements among members to increase defence spending levels to two per cent of GDP with the President commenting: “They are spending at a much faster clip, they are heading to two per cent… they are going back [to their parliaments] to get approval, which they will get, to get to two per cent. After that, we’ll start talking about going higher. Ultimately in years, we should be at four per cent.”

During a break at the NATO session, Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó pledged that Hungary would be spending two per cent of GDP on defence while other countries have been far more hesitant to commit to the spending amount including Germany which is set to miss its spending target this year.

According to MEP Mr Hidvéghi, the overall relationship between the United States and the European Union must remain strong saying: “In this world, it remains crucial that the EU-U.S. relationship remains strong or actually gets strengthened. A very important aspect of that is NATO and military and security cooperation. So I really hope that the relationship will get better and it will contribute to common success.”

The comments come only a month after Prime Minister Orbán visited President Trump in Washington DC where the president praised the Hungarian leader for his efforts to tackle illegal migration saying: “Viktor Orbán has done a tremendous job in so many different ways. He’s highly respected, respected all over Europe.”

“Probably like me a little bit controversial, but that’s OK. That’s OK. You’ve done a good job. And you’ve kept your country safe,” the President added.

Some in the mainstream media has pushed a narrative that President Trump has weakened the NATO alliance and French President Emmanuel Macron even went as far as attempting to lecture the U.S. leader during the D-Day anniversary event earlier this week.

In contrast, British Prime Minister Theresa May spoke highly of President Trump’s NATO policy arguing that he had strengthened the alliance saying: “Since we spoke about NATO during my first visit to the White House, we have maintained our support for this crucial alliance. Thanks in part to your clear message on burden sharing, Donald, we have seen members pledge another $100 billion, increasing their contributions to our shared security.”

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)breitbart.com


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