Commitment to Europe, and becoming a strong member of a strong Europe, is in the national interest of Hungary, Anna Donath, an MEP of opposition Momentum, told a conference in Budapest on Friday, proposing to expand the Visegrad Group of four countries to Eastern 8 by integrating Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria and Slovenia.
At the conference organised by the Tomorrow’s Hungary association, Momentum and the Renew Europe EP party family, Donath said that over the past decade, the government had constantly been moving Hungary away from Europe, from its allies and had squandered its influence in European decision-making.
Donath called for stronger European cooperation so that the bloc can become a world power and ensure its citizens’ security and prosperity. The EU should set up a joint army and an “European energy union”, and take a more centralised stance for green transition, she said.
The Eastern 8 cooperation would have nearly 100 million citizens, which would give bigger weight to the alliance, she said.
Liberal MEP Guy Verhofstadt said the EU’s importance had grown now, amid a fight for world supremacy between China, India, Russia and the US. He also called for setting up joined defence forces and the enlargement of the EU.