Europe’s response to past crises has always been stronger and more effective cooperation, opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) MEP Klara Dobrev said on Wednesday.
Dobrev told a party conference “Way out of crisis – Hungarian problems, European solutions” that not since the second world war had there been an example of such far-reaching changes that fundamentally questioned the institutional system and conventional wisdom as in the past 15 years.
“The crisis of 2008-2009 questioned the functioning of the global financial and economic system, the coronavirus posed a threat which was unprecedented in our lives, and Russia’s aggression fundamentally questioned the security system that we had put our trust in,” she told the event also streamed online.
The answers to the 2008-2009 financial crisis included the banking union, the strengthening of the international supervision of financial institutions, and stricter protection of deposit holders and small investors, Dobrev said. Following the coronavirus pandemic, the EU doubled its budget, created a recovery fund, and took out its first joint loan, she said. Russia’s aggression has resulted in the EU closing ranks tighter, she added.
Only two countries have opted out from this strong and unifying Europe: the UK with Brexit and Hungary which is “drifting to the periphery of the EU”, she said.
Dobrev said that despite Prime Minister Viktor Orban repeatedly saying that he does not want an exit from the EU, “the question is: what is he doing and what are the consequences of his actions”.
Former British Prime Minister David Cameron did not want to exit from the EU, either, and even Nigel Farage, the most vociferous Brexit advocate, had thought that the UK would remain in the bloc until the last moment, she added.
“It does not matter what they want, actions have consequences, and it is necessary to consider these consequences,” Dobrev said.
Anti-EU propaganda, and the questioning of Hungary’s NATO integrity and membership are “stronger every day,” she added.