Speech about Hungary 2018

Hungary moving towards full-blown authoritarianism

For me, personally, the way the European Union will deal with the case of Hungary and to some extent the case of Poland will determine my position on the European Union. The founding treaties of the Union say clearly that the Union is a community of democratic states. However, this founding principle of the European Union seems to be increasingly under threat by authoritarianism. When basic principles of political and civil freedoms are under threat the community of democratic states cannot watch idly allowing such developments to occur without resistance.

Indeed, it will be a very awkward situation when authoritarian leaders will sit around the tables in Brussels whether in the Council, Commission or the European Parliament. It will indeed be very awkward when such countries send their officials to the Union or chair the presidency of the Council. And it will indeed be not only awkward but morally impossible to concede to their influence in policy-making within the Union.

For me, the European Union as a project will be dead if the troubles in Hungary and Poland will be dealt with through impunity. What will remain of the European Union if not even the basic principles of freedom and democracy are respected? It would also be very irresponsible for the people of Finland to remain within a club where authoritarianism can grow freely. Instead, the Union should continue and take with the utmost seriousness the pledge to stand up for our basic freedoms. Political movements from different strands should unite in this pledge. I am not writing these words lightly but I firmly believe that some principles cannot be crossed. Democracy across the world has entered its struggle for survival. Even here in Europe. And we the citizens of the free world should not give up our freedoms to the authoritarian forces voluntarily.

Hungary, and Poland, should be kicked out of the European Union if they choose to continue going down the drain of full-blown authoritarianism. Harsh economic sanctions and international isolation should also follow to teach such authoritarian regimes a lesson. Our duties as Europeans is to stand up for our values and principles that unite us all under one banner of European composite culture and diversity. Democracy cannot exist without dialogue, freedom and respect for human rights. And at the end of the day authoritarianism only leads to corruption, backwardness and a decay into a hollow void of what such regimes are. Such regimes cannot solve our social issues nor the climate issue but will only lead to sorrow and sadness as those who love freedom the most are imprisoned and murdered.

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