Europe needs a renaissance - PM in Budapest

Morawiecki (L) met with his Hungarian counterpart, Viktor Orban (C), and the leader of Italy’s Eurosceptic, far-right Northern League party, Matteo Salvini (R), in Budapest. SZILARD KOSZTICSAK/PAP/EPA

Europe and European values need a renaissance, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Thursday in Budapest.

Morawiecki met with his Hungarian counterpart, Viktor Orban, and the leader of Italy’s Eurosceptic, far-right Northern League party, Matteo Salvini, in Budapest.

Orban said that they discussed possible plans of forming a joint representation in the European Parliament after the recent exit of his ruling Fidesz party from the EP's European people's Party (EPP) faction.

Referring to EU politics, Orban said he, Morawiecki and Salvini opposed the censorship of right-wing political groupings in the EU, where the right is seen only as "extremists" and the left is embracing the political centre.

He added that all three also said "no" to an EU structured like "a sort of European power under the agenda of Brussels."

"European Christians and democrats have no representation in Europe, this is why we want to represent them," Orban said. "We want them to have a voice in the EU too."

According to Morawiecki, the politicians agreed that today's priorities were transatlantic cooperation and deepened European integration based on respect for national sovereignty and traditional values.

"We need a European renaissance, a renaissance of values we can lean upon," Morawiecki said. "And I firmly believe that this view is shared by many ordinary families in Italy, Hungary or Poland, as well as in all the other EU countries."

Orban added that all three of them want a renaissance in Europe and intend to work together towards this end.

Morawiecki said that the talks also centred on speeding up coronavirus vaccinations and increasing vaccine supplies to Europe, and Orban appealed to the European Commission to accelerate vaccine purchases.