HUNGARY – “We Europeans, should we ask questions about ourselves” and determine “how to fight” the illiberal drift in certain post-communist societies, Emmanuel Macron said this Friday, June 25, about a homophobic Hungarian law , while recognizing the difficulty for Europe to respond quickly.

The controversial Hungarian legislation sparked an unusually virulent debate at a summit of the Twenty-Seven in Brussels, according to participants. This law has led 17 member countries, including France and Germany, to challenge EU leaders in a letter on the need to uphold European values.

The French president has so far ruled out sanctions against Hungary, as you can see in our video at the top of the article. “We try to settle, to keep in contact. If we exclude immediately when we have a problem, it is a failure, ”he explained during a press conference in Brussels. He also ruled out financial sanctions.

Emmanuel Macron believes for the moment that the only short-term answer is to “support the procedure initiated by the European Commission, even if it is slow, and to strengthen our position in public opinion and the media” in these countries. leaders “democratically elected and supported by their people”.

For him, this question of values ​​is for Europe “existential, principled”. “What credibility would we have if we accepted that these values ​​were undermined within us? How then to say to Albanians, to Serbs, strive for the rule of law ’to join the EU?” He cried.

“There is a rise of illiberalism in post-communist societies”, which “undermines what has built the heart of Western liberal democracies”, he ruled, fearing to see them attracted by Russian models or Chinese.

“This is the underlying tendency of these companies, not of a few leaders, it would be too easy to point a leader. We have to think about how these people get there ”.

“It is not a problem with Viktor Orban (the Hungarian Prime Minister, editor’s note), it is not true”, he continued, calling to be “hard with the leaders and convincing with the people” .

“We must re-engage in work with intellectuals from civil societies, be more present in the press of these countries, better support those who defend European ideas, we need a strategy in this area”, he pleaded. . “There needs to be an in-depth debate, this is a subject that must come out in the Convention on the Future of Europe,” he said.

See also on The HuffPost: Germany-Hungary: an activist appears on the ground with a rainbow flag

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