Internal Policies and EU Institutions

Ceremony in memory of Jozsef Antall

Brussels -
Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Dear Mrs. Antall,
Dear Peter Antall,
Dear Speaker Kövér
Dear Friends,

The Antall family is well known not only in Hungary.

Last week during the Holocaust memorial organised here in the Parliament, we remembered Jozsef's father. His name is one of the Righteous Among the Nations, because of his help in saving almost 5000 Jews during the Second World War.

Your family has a proud tradition of the defence of human rights, and human dignity.

It is therefore appropriate that this week we also honour the son, a great man in his own right. A Prime Minister, a statesman, a teacher, and a man who all his life defended fundamental rights.

It is a great personal privilege to accept this gift from you, Mrs. Antall.

What better symbol for a man who always fought for freedom of speech than the type writer of the first democratically elected Prime Minister of Hungary?

All of us have come a long way from the dark days of the Cold War. I am sure that Antall Jozsef would be proud that his country has just taken over the Presidency of the European Union.

For all his life this was only a dream, but thanks in many ways to him, this dream has become a reality for 10 million Hungarians.

Thank you!