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 Full text 
Tuesday, 11 September 2018 - Strasbourg Revised edition

The situation in Hungary (debate)

  Anna Maria Corazza Bildt (PPE). – Mr President, today I am proud to stand up for democracy. This debate is not about condemning, sanctioning and accusing. It is to reach out to the Hungarian people, to engage in an open dialogue and to uphold our shared values and their rights as Europeans, based on facts and rules. Democracy is more than winning elections. Our union is founded on human rights, civil liberties and freedoms.

Prime Minister Orbán, high—flying rhetoric and a denial of reality does not help us to move forward together. You and I shared an inspiring moment of history at the funeral of Helmut Kohl, the great statesman who united Europe and shaped a Union based on liberal democracy and Christian values. Instead, splitting East and West and pursuing hard nationalism undermines our Union. You do not represent Helmut Kohl’s heritage, nor the salvation of Christian democracy.

Christianity is about respecting human dignity and helping the most vulnerable in need, not sabotaging any European solution on migration. There is no illiberal democracy. Everything else is regimes. Now you want to export your model, spreading the acute Salvinitis virus that is affecting Italy, lining up with populists in France, Poland, the Swedish Democrats and even Putin. Bad company!

Rest assured, we in the PPE Group are not going to give up our identity, nor lose our compass. Please, Mr Orbán, I truly hope you will find yours again. Citizens are watching. Either we stand up for our values or we are dragged down in the populist meltdown.


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