The following conversation between Christopher DeMuth and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán took place on Tuesday, 4 February, at the ‘National Conservatism’ conference in Rome. It appears here courtesy of the Prime Minister’s office. It has been edited for clarity.
DeMuth: Prime Minister Orbán, let’s go back to 1989. We have a premise at this conference that today’s national conservatism movement is a direct outgrowth of 1989, but many things have changed. What do you think of when you think of your current work, and your experiences in 1989, times you may have spent with any of our three protagonists [Reagan, Pope John Paul II, Thatcher]?
Orbán: I have an answer to the first question [about …] the transformation of the Eastern European territory of Europe and later on. But first a reaction to the names you have mentioned. One of my first confrontations with western politics happened when I visited Margaret Thatcher in 1999 as Prime Minister. You know, I was at that time already Prime Minister, elected in 1998 the first time, and I visited Margaret Thatcher who was not in office. But I was in London and I thought […] as a sign of respect I would like to see her. And I knocked on her door [to] her private flat and she opened and she said: I totally disagree with you. And I said: good morning! And it finally became clear [why]: the reason was that I opposed the NATO action to launch military action from the territory of Hungary against Yugoslavia, to open a frontline on the southern border of Hungary — because that lead Hungary into a war. And that was not good for British soldiers, who served in the southern part of Yugoslavia. So it was a clear-cut British interest to totally disagree with me. That was my meeting with her.
And Ronald Reagan who you have just mentioned as well: you know, my generation in Hungary, we considered Ronald Reagan as the liberator of our personal life. Without Ronald Reagan there would have been no chance to push the Russians, the Soviet Union, out of Central Europe and to get rid of communism. This is clear. And instead of having a complicated argument, one sentence of Ronald Reagan changed the world. The sentence was (according to the stories or the legends): when he invited his advisers on geostrategic issues, he said: we changed our strategy and we have a new strategy. The question was: what is that? And he answered: we win, they lose.
That [was] a very important moment because until that moment the concept of the West was to keep the balance with the communists and the Soviet Union, which means that the target was not to win, just to peacefully coexist. And he changed and said that we will win, which [meant] that the captive nations, as we were, [could] became free again. So, admiration to him!
And John Paul [II] […] I met him several times, which is not an easy thing. It is rather complicated because I am a Calvinist. And the Calvinist-Catholic relationship in Hungarian history is rather complicated. But we never considered the Holy Father as a Catholic leader of the Vatican. We always considered him as the biggest defender of Central European countries on the world stage, whatever [his] religious background.
And I have a short story. [… We] lost the election in 2002 after four years in government. And after the defeat I was decorated by the […] Holy Father, who sent a medal to me, which is the highest decoration. And as far as I remember, no Calvinist [has gotten] it since. And the message was that you got it not for what you have done up to now but for what you will do. So, you know, even if [Pope John Paul II] is not with us anymore, I still have a very personal relation with him — even today.
Back to 1990. In 1990 — just to help understand what the hell I am doing in politics: our party was established in 1988, two years prior to the destruction of the communist regime — we were young intellectuals, students, young teachers, researchers in various institutions, […] football players, semi-professional[s], as myself. So we had very normal jobs. We didn’t want to become politicians. That was not the ambition. But in 1988 we realized that something [would] happen soon, and the Soviet Union’s structure [was] not strong enough to survive, the communist regime [was] very unstable, so [it was] the right moment to do something.
And in 1988 we established a political movement with an age limit. The age limit was 35. Nobody who was older than 35 was allowed to join the party because we established a radical anti-communist party. And we thought that we [could not] have any consensus and cooperation with the communist regime. We [were] radical anti-communists, but the older generation, because of the nature of life, [tended] to make some compromises on communist thinking and communist politics. Therefore, we had that age limit — later removed because of obvious reasons. But you know, our attitude was always strongly anti-communist. It was not just anti-communist in terms of national independence against the Soviet Union; it was not just anti-communist, pro-liberty, freedom, […] but it was radical anti-communism against the communist way of thinking, the Marxist way of thinking — which is still going on, you know. The liberal professors and politicians argue by using different words; but meaning the same thing, […] as the Marxists speak. That is the reason why we feel that we are still the same anti-communist radical politicians as we were 30 years ago, fighting the same battle. That is the point. In that respect, 1990 has […] relevance in our [policies] even today.
In the national conservatism movement, we say every nation is independent; it [charts its] own course. But after all, Hungary is a medium sized nation; it is subject to powerful forces. There is Russia on one side; there is the EU on the other; there is Turkey and the Middle East and Africa to the South. There is the dynamics of the European economy. All of these exert pressure. How do you manage Hungarian politics with all these pressures from the outside? Is it good? Is it an advantage or disadvantage to be surrounded by so many forces?
Being smaller than the neighbors is a disadvantage. Being bigger is an advantage, no question. That is the normal logic of life. But […] I would like to distinguish our difficulties with Moscow, Berlin, and Turkey historically, and Istanbul historically, and another one: the difficulties with the European Union, which are basically two different points.
If you are Hungarian, you are living in the geopolitical gap, because on one side there are the Slavs, on the other side the Germans, and in the South the Muslims. That is the place where we live. We have to [be] always on the alert […] to politics because anything can happen anytime. If you look at Hungarian history, we were occupied by the Muslims, by the Ottomans, […] by the Germans, and by the Soviet Union and the Russians. Geopolitically it is not easy to manage having a nation-based, sovereign, independent policy for your government or for your nation. It is rather complicated to find a way to manage the proper relation to all three.
But […] what we have now, the difficulty with the European Union is different, because we have some difficulties. And the difficulty originates from a different approach to the question [of] how we should build Europe, because there are two approaches at this moment. One would like to build up Europe from the bottom, which means a kind of cooperation of […] nations. And the other concept is to build Europe from above, from the top, which is a federalist, empire-oriented approach, which wouldn’t like to have sovereign states. And that kind of competition of the two approaches is an ongoing process every day in the European Union.
That is the main reason why we so often have open disputes with many leaders of the European Union and with the institutions of the European Union: because we insist on building Europe from the bottom, which means respecting national sovereignty and finding a way for sovereign nations to cooperate in order to find the common interest of the European nations. So, this is another problem. But you know, 10 million strong country has — it is not a state secret — not more than 30,000 soldiers. You have to be humble and smart at the same time. Small […] countries cannot afford not to have smart leaders; that is a privilege of the great countries.
And yet you have done very well. There are many people at this conference who would like to build a movement, a party, to make as much difference in their countries as you have. What do you have to tell these people from your 14 years in power?
First of all, we have to understand the character of what we are doing in Hungary. I would like to be very clear that we are not better than many of the other conservative leaders in Europe. We are not smarter; we are not more skillful; this is not the case. The difference between the conservative politicians in Italy, France, Germany, Spain; and Hungary is that we have no pressure to have a coalition with any other party because we have a majority in Parliament.
And the media world is not like in Western Europe: 90% for progressive liberals and 10% for conservatives. It is more balanced […] than in the West. When I stand up and say something, I don’t make any compromise just because I have a coalition partner or limited media background. I am the only lucky man among European politicians, among conservatives who can say what I think. I know them well, they are committed to the Christian tradition at the same level. They are […] committed to national pride, to national sovereignty, and freedom and so on, […] like us, so there is no difference. They are the same as we are. But because of the circumstances, fighting for power in a reasonable way, they simply cannot afford to say what they think.
Don’t forget that politics here probably looks like an intellectual activity. Don’t misunderstand; this is not the case. [… You] are thinkers, but we are doers. Politics is about making decisions, gaining and keeping the trust of the nation, and getting the power and keeping the power. If you are not skillful enough to keep the power, how will you make decisions which are in favor of your nation? [… It] is a natural goal of all politicians to get a majority and form a government and do something. But if they can’t say what they think, they will never say it. That is so simple.
In Hungary we were lucky enough in 2010 to get a two-thirds majority, having a background from the anti-communist resistance movement, which results [from] a natural inclination to say what we think, so both elements [meet ….] That is Hungarian politics now […].
I would not like to educate anybody because circumstances are so different in all countries. But the number one pre-condition to be successful in politics is [bravery]. Bravery to take […] risks. If you don’t stand up and don’t say what you think, whatever the consequences may be, you will never be a leader, and you will never have a big party.
[But …] look at the EPP. We belong to the family of the EPP. What is going on in the EPP — we are suspended now, because we are the ‘black sheep’ of the community —[is that] the EPP would like to be part of the power structure of the European Union by any means. And if the price of that is to give up certain values in order to make a compromise with the left, they do so. And then we are losing our identity step by step. We became a centrist and then liberal and leftist-oriented political family. The process is [ongoing]. If we don’t stand up and say: guys, we are losing our values, we are losing our profile, we don’t know who we are anymore, and the people who are our voters are not able to identify us on the [basis] of values, what the hell are we doing? What is the sense of being in politics and being politicians?
If we don’t say that sometimes, […] you will always just move to the leftist, liberal direction, because the media, the pressure, the universities, the intellectual life will push you to give up more and more elements of your original ideology, or your original principles and values. And that is how the conservatives suffer in Europe now. This is the situation. I try to manage a counter-revolution, but I have very few candidates up to now; but hopefully it will happen.
You have been able to speak your mind, do what you want to do, because you are the head of a very big party. It took 30 years for this to emerge so there was a lot of work, and you could just take credit for being in this position that your counterparts in other countries are in. But it could be that there is something about Hungarian institutions, political culture that has been helpful to you?
Yes. OK. I spent 16 years in opposition and 14 years in government as Prime Minister. So, I know the job from both directions. And I have some basis to make a comparison of Hungarian political culture with others. The Hungarians are very complicated, very special. You are in a hopeless situation to understand it, but you can probably approach it somehow because it is a nation without any relatives in the European Union. When the Prime Ministers of the European Union meet with each other regularly, I am the only Prime Minister who doesn’t understand the languages of anybody else. The majority of the Prime Ministers understand the language of at least one or two other countries; but I am the only one who is alone always because we Hungarians got here in a [miraculous] way. We are an eastern nation which moved to the West and survived 1,000 years ago.
But the Hungarian instinct therefore is two-fold. First […], it is a freedom loving nation, which is good for us, in political terms, because we always represented the freedom of the nation, the freedom of the people, Christian liberty, those kinds of values. But second, the Hungarians understand that history and politics are risky things. The basic instinct of Hungarians is to appreciate stability. Hungary is the only country in Europe where after 1990 there were no early elections at all. It happened in all other countries, even in Germany, which is the most stable country, but under Chancellor Schröder there was an early election. Hungary is the only country where all parliaments served four-year terms. Therefore, Hungarians understand that because of the geopolitical situation, because of culturally being alien to our neighbors, that stability is the most important thing.
There are countries, like where we are, [where] there is no government: who cares? The country works basically. OK, it is better to have a government than not to have [one], but basically, […] the country is able to perform well, the economy is working, cultural life is producing [at] a certain level. But there are some other countries where if the stability is not there in the government, the performance of society immediately decreases. Hungary is a country like that. The Hungarians understand that we have to have a stable government — otherwise we are in trouble, not just in politics, but in all spectrums of national life. That probably helps us to stay in power as well. As I mentioned, after Angela Merkel, I am probably the second longest serving Prime Minister in Europe with my 14 years. It is partly because of the instinct of the Hungarian nation, not because of my performance, I mean. Poor Hungarians!
How much difference does it make for the future of national conservatism in Hungary? How well it succeeds in other countries? It sounds to me like part of your success is precisely that you are somewhat isolated and there is a culture that prizes stability within so that you can weather many storms.
Yes, because national identity is a precondition of national conservatism […]. I am not arguing in favor of China; I am not arguing in favor of Russia; I am not arguing in favor of Turkey; but they are success stories in their own way. And look at them, [at] how they are managed! There are different recipes how to do it, but all of them first started to re-strengthen their national identity. Without having a strong national identity, you simply cannot be successful in the modern age. That is my point. And they all understood it.
Second, because the headwind is so strong in Europe, from the liberal media and intellectual life and universities, the only way to survive as a national conservative or a Christian democratic leader like me is by being successful. If you are not successful, there is no help and support from the outside. If you make a mistake and figures of the economy go down, you are killed next morning. So, we must be successful. If conservative politics is not successful in Hungary, we can’t survive the next morning. So, we must be successful.
I try to be as humble as I can, but you know, last years we have had 4% and 5% economic growth rates every year. [W]hen I started in 2010, the unemployment rate was 12%; now it is 3%. We have basically full employment. State debt was 85% of GDP; now it is less than 70%. So financial and economic success is the precondition of running any conservative politics because of the headwind. If you are not successful running your government locally, then internationally you will be killed the next morning. That is the reason why we are not indebted.
Many conservatives think in an easier way on budget and state debt issues, especially the Anglo-Saxons […]. But in Hungary we can’t do that. If the figures get worse, the pressure on us is immediately growing and growing and growing. So, we have to be financially very, very stable otherwise there is no basis to run our conservative politics, and we will follow the same track as many conservatives who adjust themselves to the mainstream in order to survive. Therefore, we have to be very disciplined financially.
The conservatives, the Trump administration in America, the Boris Johnson government in the UK, they don’t seem to care about physical restrain, it used to be part of the conservative creed, and now both parties in these two countries seem not to care about it at all. How do you survive? How have you been able to make do with a constraint that everybody else would have thought was impossible?
Because of the [US] dollar and other international currencies, they always have some additional instruments [to use to …] rebalance their budget and foreign trade. And they can negotiate, like President Trump just did with the Chinese: ‘give me 200 billion Euros [in] additional trade export possibilities.’ This is not an instrument that the Hungarians can use, so we have to have more sophisticated ways. That is the reason for the difference of approaches.
Hungary is a very democratic country, people are very opinionated. To some extent the polarization that we see in politics across Europe and the United States is truly there. There are people that are for the government, against the government, there are people probably within your own party that have disagreements. But the polarization doesn’t seem to have weakened your institutions. In America polarization has dramatically weakened the institutions we inherited. I don’t think there is [any] political polarization in Hungary.
We have a very […] similar leftist opposition as [the one] President Trump has, definitely; but somehow the Hungarian attitude is different. There is a saying in Hungarian politics, which goes: the nation cannot be in opposition. [This] means that the nation is something which is above the party structure. Even if you are in opposition, you have to serve the nation because the nation is something above you.
I am not an expert in America, but if I understand American politics correctly, many people hate Donald Trump and love their own nation. And I think it is getting more and more legitimate. In Hungary, probably there are some people who hate me more than how much they like the nation; but it is illegitimate to say it. […] Somehow the standard is that loving the nation is a must, to serve the nation is a must, because what else could be more important if you were born as a Hungarian. If Hungary is not first, what is first? [….] By instinct they feel that without the nation, their individual life would be far worse. So, we need the nation. It is a commonwealth; therefore, we have to raise it up as much as we can, even if we are leftists or rightists.
You have shown how democratic politics can support, in the circumstances of Hungary, a strong national conservatism movement.
Because the movement is successful economically.
Because of the economic success. You have also said things that suggests that in liberal politics, democratic politics, there is a tendency towards what you would call responsibility-free, rights-based liberalism, promising something to everybody, doing away with the idea of individual responsibility. Do you worry that there is this tendency in the wrong direction, in one country or another? Or [do] we have to regain the culture [and] maybe people who were familiar with democratic politics will be the best at it?
First of all …
I promise never to ask you two questions at the same time!
I’ll try to answer the first one. It is easier to say populism, because we are accused of being populists. And when I was young 20 years ago, populism had a very clear meaning that if a politician promises something but is not able to deliver, that is populism. But if a politician promises something and then delivers, it is not populism; it is democracy. I can’t say that we were able [to …] fulfil 100% of all my promises. Ten years ago, when I became Prime Minister again, I made a promise, undertook something, saying that in 10 years’ time we will produce one million new jobs. In a country with 10 million [people] at the time, with only 3,800,000 people working, to create one million jobs [was] something. And now, after nine years, we [have] created 860,000 jobs. It is not 100% […] but 86% now, and I still have one more year, so we can probably do it.
I promised that instead of the welfare economy — because, in Europe, you know, [the] welfare economy is fashionable — I said: look guys, the welfare economy will not work; we have to transform our economy into the so-called ‘workfare’ economy. And I said that workfare economy will bring more welfare than the welfare economy. And if you look at the salaries now, the wages, if you look at the number of jobs, if you look at the living standards, [and what …] percentage of the society is still poor, it is obvious that we provided more welfare on the basis of workfare society. That is the point.
Back to the liberal approach. In our understanding, the liberal government model failed, obviously failed two times in one decade. First in 2008, during the financial crisis in Europe. Liberal governments failed. They were not able to regulate their economy in a proper way and they were not able to defend their own economy against the crisis. And [… this] was because of the structure and the loss of competitiveness.
[T]hen, in 2015 the liberal governments failed a second time, [… with regard to] the migration crisis. And the liberal governments failed to protect their own citizens; they failed to protect their own borders and the security of their own citizens; and [they failed to] stop illegal migration. So it means that liberal governments failed. And the principal basis for liberal governments was liberal democracy. Liberal democracy in that sense is over. We need something new. We can call it illiberal; we can call it post-liberal; you can call it Christian democratic, whatever. But we need something new, because on that basis we cannot provide good governance for the people.
Don’t forget that democracy means two things. First, to provide a chance of participation for citizens, and second, good governance. Democracy makes no sense without good governance. [… It] is obvious that on a liberal basis we cannot provide good governance for the people. So, we [have] developed a new theory and a new approach: that is Christian democracy. And instead of liberal freedom we use Christian liberty, so we have a wording [of] how we describe the system we have built up. It is very unique. Nobody likes it outside Hungary. The liberal press is always attacking us, making jokes [about] us. But it works. And the people vote for it again and again and again.
This is my approach, and that’s the reason why I believe in Christian democracy. And this is probably the point where I have to make some comments on Catholics. Because national sovereignty and Christian democracy and the anti-empire attitude that we have somehow involve the Catholic Church [… in] the discussion. As some of the professors pointed out in their books, if we would like to build up sovereign nation-states, we have to resist the attempts to build an empire. And I would like to mention that the reason why we think that Christian democracy is a good description for us is that the universal Catholic approach is the only one […] which appreciates and accepts national sovereignty. It is a global idea but [the Church] considers sovereign states valuable. That is the reason why in Hungary, where 75% are Catholic and 25% are Calvinists, we are able to cooperate for national sovereignty on a Christian democratic basis. That creates a national unity for national sovereignty, as we understand. So Christian democracy […] is the best framework to conceptualize what we are doing.
What are the prospects for successful nation-states, such as yours in your immediate neighborhood?
We have a complicated history, without the nations. And for long, long decades, central Europe was considered […] a danger to European stability. It was considered ideologically — and from a political stability point of view, a danger. But nowadays, if you look at the European map, the most successful group of nations and the most successful region of Europe is central Europe. We are living together peacefully; growth rate is 4-5%; FDI and investments in this region are growing. The economic growth rate of the European Union is basically provided by central Europe.
I think when I am speaking about the success of Hungary, certainly I am a little biased; but I have to mention that all the other countries around us are very successful. The Slovaks do well; the Czechs excellently; the Polish are stronger than ever; Croats are catching up; the Serbs [are] try[ing] to join the European Union; so what I represent here is not just a success story of a country but a success story of a region. And everywhere in this region the governments are based on national sovereignty. They’re all national conservatives, whatever party family they belong to in Brussels, […] if you analyze the principal basis of their policy, they are all national conservative governments. And that is related to their success.
You can have great hopes and expectations that the renovation — and a new current [of…] national conservatism — could come from Central Europe. If you would like to write about exciting stories and success stories, not just critical works on liberals, come to central Europe and try to translate and make understandable what is going on in many countries [here].
The immigration crisis of 2015 has played a major role in the rise of conservative movements and parties around Europe. You have had several successes in stabilizing the situation. Is that a problem solved, [one] we don’t have to worry about [and] you can turn to other things? Or are there looming additional problems for Hungary or for Europe or generally?
First of all, just as a description. In Hungary we have Muslim migrants that amount to zero. So, we don’t have any. The Hungarian situation is totally different from that of the western countries and the southern countries. It is pure mathematics to understand to where […] western countries will develop in terms of demography and [the] composition of their societies. Mathematics is a very severe thing. It is obvious that they will create, will develop or evolve, a society which will be a composition of a big Muslim community which is growing, and a Christian community which is decreasing. That is how […] western countries will look like, whether we like it or not. It is not a wish; it is not a critique; it is a description […] of what is going on — not just because of the migration crisis [of] 2015 but because of the previous 30 years […] and because of the poor performance of families, in terms of reproduction of their nations in many countries.
So, the outcome in many countries is a society, a new type of society, consisting of a decreasing Christian element and an increasing Muslim element. The liberals support that process because the liberals think it is good. They don’t like Christian society; they don’t like the identity as we understand societies; so they think that the new composition of western societies would provide a nicer life, a better life, than it was during […] so-called Christian Europe. Therefore, they support that process.
In central Europe we have a different approach. We don’t know whether they are right or not. Probably their life and their society will be happier as a mixed society [….] But we would not like to take the risk. That is our point. My goal is not to convince […] westerners that what they are doing is bad, because it is not my job. It is their nation and it is their country. What I would like to ask from them is to not force us to follow the same track that they are proceeding on. That is the central European position [….]
The second is, the migration crisis became important not just because of migration [but because it] raised the issue of identity. And the identity issue was forbidden in western political disputes. It was not PC; it was not correct; so to raise the question of who we are, what is happening, what kind of changes are going on in our society, where is our national identity, where is our religious identity: these issues were not fashionable […] in the last 20-30 years. But because of the migration crisis there was no chance to avoid that dispute — and that is the reason why now, in many countries, we have identity issues at the center of political disputes. What does it mean to be French? What does it mean to be German? [… What] does it mean to be Italian? Or to be central European or Hungarian? These issues are legitimate again.
That is the reason [… why] the books written by some of you — The Strange Death of Europe, The Virtue of Nationalism and those kinds of books — became very, very popular in Hungary and central Europe: because now the issue is on the surface. We can’t avoid discussing those issues. Therefore, migration is bad because it is a real danger; but on the other side, it [has] generated disputes which provided a chance for us to explain who we are and raise the question that without defining who we are again, we cannot be successful and competitive with those nations […] who are just strengthening their own national identity. So, the dispute is OK; the dispute is good; the dispute is the only chance for national conservatives to get a majority in society. [… To] get a majority does not mean that you have a majority in the government. Majority means that you have a majority of the opinion of the people. And the migration issue is a good cause for Christian democrats and national conservatives to explain again to the people what is at stake, what is really important, and how we imagine the future.
So, use the chance, that [is] always my point. [… I]ntellectually don’t miss the chance to clarify again who you are and what is your vision on your own future. And that is how we understand migration. And I insist on raising that question again and again, because that dispute strengthens the national identity of Hungarians, of central Europeans, and hopefully all around Europe. That is the reason why in many new movements, [the] national conservative character came up […] as a consequence of the dispute based on and organized around the migration issue. That is how I see that.
It is complicated. It is not just good and not just bad. [But] I would just like to underline [that] the major challenge for European politicians is that Europe soon — soon means […] in 20 years […] Europe will show a different picture on the western part, on a civilizational basis, and on the eastern part. And if we would like to build a cooperation of European nations, it is difficult to answer how we can cooperate if we became so different. It is a real intellectual and political challenge at the same time.
I have a final question. You’ve advised people coming into politics to be brave; you have built a very solid political foundation in a nation that values stability; and you have a career still to look forward to. It appears you still do brave things. You have a pro-natalist policy that you have been introducing. What do you hope to achieve in the next four to eight years — in whatever time remains to you as leader of the Hungarian government?
First of all, what we Hungarians are doing — and what I am doing — is not ‘natural’ […] it is not an ‘organic’ thing [for a country of] 10 million [people], [with] no nuclear weapons, [and a] small GDP [….] To fight against the liberal mainstream is not the job of small countries. To fight against the intellectual headwind, to change the attitude of the politicians in western countries, is not the job of Hungary, [of] a small country as we are. The simple reason why we play that role is because: there is nobody else.
My biggest hope is that somebody else will come and replace us. That is the reason I try to find partners in Italy and Spain, and I hope that the upcoming new political forces, [and] bigger countries, will take [up] the same flag and take the role away from us — or join us in leading that fight.
I would not like to reveal any secret[s], but I met [Santiago] Abascal [of the VOX party in Spain]. And my impression is that for one group of politicians in Europe, especially the older generation, the goal is nothing else [but] just to stay in power somehow. The other group of people, especially [the] young generations who are coming, is to do something. And when I explained my observation to Abascal today, that […] his party would like to do something, he said no, not ‘something’; we would like to do everything! This attitude I hope will come up again: some passion, enthusiasm, being electrified, some love of politics.
I am waiting for a new generation, [for] new movements full of energy and strength; otherwise the old way of politicians, [… of] the traditional elite[s] in Europe, will never make a competitive Europe again. We need new movements, new parties; […] we need new forces [….] And hopefully the old parties — like the socialists, the liberals, the Christian Democrats, the EPP — [will be] able to adjust themselves to this new challenge. But we need a new challenge. And only the new movements represent new challenges to us; otherwise, we will never change our attitude[s] — and therefore Europe will never be competitive again. So, good luck to the newcomers — even if they don’t belong to our political family.