PANEL DISCUSSION 2023
Norbert Van HANDEL:
WITH ALL OUR STRENGTH FOR CENTRAL EUROPE
If many think that we live in breakpoint times, this may be true.
The individual population groups were not asked which successor state they wanted to belong to. I think in particular of South Tyrol, Hungarians in Romania, but also the Sudeten Germans in Bohemia and Moravia. It was remarkable how long the Austro-Hungarian Army held together and what it actually achieved. But since Austria-Hungary had disappeared, there was also no so-called "war marketing", which succeeded quite well in Germany, for example.
The legend that the Austro-Hungarian Army was not as good here and there as the German federal partner is just as false as it is that the excellent German Army did everything right. For one of the main reasons for the length and eventual loss of the war was that the Schlieffen Plan for France did not work because some parts of the German Army did not concentrate on Paris but instead went east-west – north-south, which allowed the French to regroup.
This may all be history without much relevance for today, but we should always remember that World War I was Europe's original catastrophe and that its peace agreements were not constructive, like those of the Congress of Vienna, but rather revanchist.
The losers were to be destroyed, the winners to receive everything.
Logically, nationalism developed more strongly than ever before in history in the 1920s and 1930s, which ultimately led to a much bigger war. In both wars, but especially in World War II, civilians were also the main victims, something that was rather rare until 1914 (perhaps with the exception of the Thirty Years' War!). It was therefore a logical consequence that in 1952 the European Coal and Steel Community was formed, founded by sensible Christian statesmen such as Schumann, Adenauer, De Gaulle and Monnet.
Great statesmen no longer exist today, except perhaps Helmut Schmidt and Bruno Kreisky. Whereas in the 19th century Metternich and Bismarck ruled the Continent, today it is the Moloch Brussels that wants to regulate and influence everything like an octopus.
Please spare me the task of defining in more detail the individual, partly criminal and corrupt phenomena that emanate from Brussels. The fact is that a large part of Western Europe, above all Germany and France, negates everything that concerns nation, homeland and Christianity in order to create a spongy entity of supranational influence instead.
Christianity is no longer an important element of Europe. Instead, one deals with the unspeakable genderism, with LGBTQ as a state policy and with a broad tolerance towards those immigrants whose identity, based above all on the Koran, appears to be less centred on God and more on a political system from Sharia to aggression against everything that is Christian, traditional, yes, par excellence against the soul of our Central European countries.
In the struggle for the independence of Christian peoples, unfortunately, even parts of the Church are not actual partners. Many of us were enthusiastic Europeans because we thought the EU was for peace in Europe and would above all support the four great freedoms: free movement of persons, free movement of goods, free movement of services and free movement of capital.
The coronavirus crisis, however, has shown that this is in no way the case and even more: the EU supports the borderless immigration of people who do not want to enrich our countries with the gratitude of guests but, on the contrary, want to destroy our democratic systems.
In the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, they took sides unilaterally and did not shy away from sending billions of EU Member States' money to Ukraine, one of the most corrupt states in the world. Without asking the populations of the Member States as to whether this is what they wanted. On the contrary, they joined more or less uncritically with the USA, which wants nothing more than to destroy Russia or at least to weaken it dramatically. Once again, billions in arms deliveries were to be used to eliminate the last Ukrainian soldier.
Instead of doing everything to make peace, they follow actor Zelenskyj, whose legal position is more than doubtful in our opinion. Please do not take me wrong. We reject every war, including the Ukrainian one, in its entirety, but we must not forget that every war has a prehistory. And the prehistory of this war is, in my opinion, a betrayal of Russia. Putin wanted to cooperate closely with the West in the early 2000s with his programme of a customs free zone between Lisbon and Vladivostok. His proposals met with standing approval in the German Bundestag.
But all this was just camouflage on the part of the West. The USA wanted to weaken Russia and at the same time prevent Germany and Russia in particular, and of course the EU, from becoming long-term partners of our big neighbour to the East. The unspeakable woman from the SED, Mrs. Merkel, had succeeded in her long-term government activity and led Germany into socialist waters under the pretext of being CDU chairwoman, and at the same time deceived Russia: the second Minsk Agreement clearly provided that Ukraine should be neutralised and the predominantly Russian-inhabited enclaves in the East should be autonomous.
A sensible plan, which Putin supported, but which, as Mrs. Merkel cynically said, in reality should not have been implemented at all. An outright fraud under international law.
If we do not want our homelands – and I am referring not only to my home country, but above all to Hungary, the Czech Republic and possibly in the future also Croatia, Slovenia, Slovakia, but also Bulgaria and Romania, and certainly also the regions in Upper Italy and Southern Germany, and above all the Western Balkans – to decay, and I would even say to be destroyed by our cultural system, we must act. Leaving the EU would probably not be the right way at the moment due to many legal and financial considerations, as appealing as it would be to many.
No, we must form a strongly networked group of Central European countries within the EU against the dominance of France-Germany, because Germany has now become a politically failed state. We have been working on this project for a long time, but it is infinitely difficult to implement, which does not mean that we do not have to try everything to do so. In Austria, for example, there is still a great deal of obedience to the EU, although fortunately the national conservative FPÖ is trying to counteract this.
But Italy, too, which increasingly wants more money from the EU (in violation of the Treaty, by the way), has regrettably been rather disappointing, even under current Prime Minister Meloni. We must therefore, I believe, support the one and only patriot Viktor Orbán in every way. It is very gratifying that Bohemia and Moravia of the Czech Republic – a core part of Europe – want a consolidated Central Europe.
But the devil is in the details. For everything depends on how the politicians in the Central European countries act internally. A strong apparatus will therefore be needed so that the Central European project can be implemented in the individual states in a truly credible, constructive, and future-oriented way. It will not work simply because that is what we all want and desire. We therefore need politically really effective groups in our countries that represent the Central European idea.
We therefore propose here and now to establish a committee composed of one representative from each country, which will meet from time to time and promote the progress of our project by all appropriate means. It is not a matter of reactivating Austria-Hungary, or I would even say Hungary-Austria, but it is a matter of robust, workmanlike policy that only those who have appropriate functions in the political apparatus can make.
It is our task to support this.
Our motto must be: Let's strive with all our strength for Central Europe.