Viktor Orbán himself understands this. “Europe,” he has just said in an interview with Le Point, “must be able to defend itself with its own forces”. He says this after having endlessly railed against the “centralism” of the European Union, after having called for the two currents of the far right to come together so that they have more weight in Parliament, after having, in a word, expressed all his hostility to the Union, but “in the field of security,” he notes, “we should be more centralised”.

So let us skip over the complete contradiction of wanting to “decentralise” the Union while calling for its ranks to be tightened in an area as decisive as defence, and let us not be afraid to admit that, on this point, Viktor Orbán is right. He is even more right in proposing that we get to work on this without delay, starting by setting up pan-European arms industries.

We must not waste another hour, because the chaos on the other shores of the Mediterranean is not about to subside; because we will suffer its consequences more and more; because Vladimir Putin will not give up cutting Ukraine in two anytime soon before pursuing his attempt to rebuild the Russian Empire; because all the red lights are turning on in China, where Xi Jinping has come to the point where he may want to get round his domestic difficulties by attacking Taiwan; and because Donald Trump, the man who was responsible for the Congress being stormed, could well be re-elected in November.

Everything can change in eleven months, but all the polls now show him as the winner and we know, because he makes no secret of it, what he would do with us Europeans. He would quickly stop all aid to Ukraine, he would agree with Vladimir Putin by backing the annexation of the Donbass and Crimea, and do everything he could to discredit the Atlantic Alliance and kill it off. His aim would be to distance Moscow from Beijing and to use Russia to weaken China and the European Union, both of them equally, which he considers as economic rivals to be fought.

With no real army other than the French, which would not be sufficient to defend it, the Union would find itself naked, with no American umbrella and no defence of its own, at a time when everything is threatening it on its eastern and Mediterranean borders.

This is a matter of urgency.

We need a defence and it will not assert itself, unless – Viktor Orban is right – unless we pool our resources so that we are no longer dependent on American arms supplies. With our capital and our excellent know-how in all weapons, we have every opportunity to create an “Airbus” of armament, one or several such companies, but where the Hungarian Prime Minister is totally wrong is that we will not do so without making the Union a political union and enlarging it.

When Viktor Orban refuses to allow the Union to open its doors to Ukraine and even threatens to veto it, he fails to see that by turning our backs on this aggressed country at the heart of Europe, we would be breaking the morale of the Ukrainians and telling Vladimir Putin that Ukraine does indeed belong to him and that his troops can therefore march right up to our borders.

Viktor Orbán and all those on the far right, on the right, in the centre and on the left who unspokenly but clearly advocate abandoning Ukraine do not understand that by doing so we would immediately break up the Union and put some of us in the hands of the United States, others in the hands of Vladimir Putin and another group in the hands of China or Turkey – that Europe, in a word, would allow itself to be wiped off the map.

One cannot, Mr Orbán, call for a common defence and at the same time bend his spine, his back and his knee to a man who would then have no reason to stop in Kiev.

Originally posted on https://www.bernard-guetta.eu/2023/12/11/be-logical-mr-orban/?lang=en

Also available in French, German, and Hungarian languages