Jobbik takes first step to change EU

While Hungary’s PM Viktor Orbán allegedly fights Brussels and, either negligently or wilfully, puts Hungary in an unfavourable international situation, Jobbik has found the way to potentially bridging the gap between western and eastern EU member states. The party’s initiative entered its hardest yet highly motivating phase when the European Commission gave the green light for it.

The real challenge begins now, as one million statements of support need to be collected, either online or on paper, from the initiating countries within 12 months. It is Jobbik’s key objective to succeed with this mission so that Hungarian people could finally get a chance to reach Western European living standards without having to leave their own homeland.

As the second step in the “Vona18” programme, the party’s president announced the launch of a European Citizens’ Initiative for eliminating European wage inequalities. The president is fully committed to achieving that the “European Wage Union” become one of the EU’s fundamental freedoms because when Hungary joined the European Union, our citizens cast their ballots in the hope that the accession would trigger the country’s and the eastern region’s convergence to the EU average. Contrary to the expectations, the gap just widened even more: while consumer prices did reach western levels, or even exceeded them in many cases, wages failed to follow suit.

The Orbán government uses the EU funds for nothing but lining its pals’ pockets, while Fidesz conducts a double talk: they make Hungarian people believe that Brussels hurts us all the time so that the PM can successfully be promoted as Hungary’s champion. The whole propaganda campaign is financed by the taxpayers’ money.

But how many times have we seen PM Orbán bang his fist on the table in Brussels and fight for better living standards for Hungarian people? He has never done so, and when Jobbik requested his support for the wage union motion, he openly rejected it because it was not in his interest for Hungarian wages to increase.

However, Jobbik did not need the PM’s help to gain the support of 7 countries for launching an initiative. Within less than 3 months after the announcement made last December, the representatives of Croatia, Poland, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, Latvia and Estonia joined the initiative. 

So the founding charter was signed at the citizens’ committee meeting held in Hotel Kempinski Budapest on 14th March. Furthermore, this is the first cause that could trigger such a cooperation among the nations of the historically exhausted Eastern European region. At the committee’s first meeting, Jobbik’s president Gábor Vona emphasized that the initiative was not against Western Europe and that it was “about Europe’s future. A strengthening Eastern Central Europe is important for Western Europe as well.”

After the submission of the document, Jobbik MP Márton Gyöngyösi, the representative of the citizens’ committee launched a nationwide campaign to ensure that the petition called “Equal wages for equal work” could be presented in all Hungarian cities. He also met representatives of employers’ and workers’ associations in the Parliament to discuss the motion. In his Wednesday’s press conference, Mr Gyöngyösi told us that the participating unions responded very positively to the wage union concept. He also emphasized that they were trying to integrate the unions’ demands into the project. The participating unions reassured the party that they would actively support the collection of signatures. As for the other unions who could not participate in the meeting for some reason, Mr Vona and Mr Gyöngyösi will jointly visit them to discuss the matter. One of these meetings will be held on Friday with the Forum for the Co-operation of Trade Unions.

The role of trade unions is especially important as they can reach out to workers, which would be another means of collecting the necessary number of signatures, besides setting up street stands and a website. The Treaty of Lisbon specifies very serious requirements for the signature collection process, by the way. 

Expressing his optimism about the project’s future, the MP emphasized that some other countries already wished to join the original 8 in signature collection. This is a clear indication that people can identify with this issue all the way from the Baltic to the Black Sea. Mr Gyöngyösi said it was a historic success that the European Commission registered the citizens’ initiative launched by Jobbik, the purpose of which is to “achieve a fairer Europe where the Union is laid on new foundations”. Pointing out that Hungarian people had been waiting for the issue of wage inequalities to be put on the EU’s agenda ever since our accession to the Union, the MP asserted this petition meant a chance “to create a liveable, attractive Hungary.”

By having the initiative registered, Jobbik has already done more for the citizens than all the governments of the past 27 years combined, and proved that it was not an internationally isolated party. On the contrary, it is indeed able to lead an international cooperation project for an important cause. “While Fidesz conducts freedom fights and the Socialist Party unscrupulously serves the interests of Brussels’ power, Jobbik stands for the people and represents Hungarian interests.” He also emphasized that, besides the EU’s administrative processes, Jobbik had to overcome Hungarian partisan resistance as well: PM Orbán had repeatedly refused to back the proposal, claiming that the EU had no means to reduce wage gaps.

However, Brussels’ decision on this matter is a clear message to Mr Orbán that the goal is realistic and Jobbik’s motion is supported. Thus, the Hungarian opposition party managed to raise the wage union concept to the level of the migration issue. Now there is a chance to emphasize that true European solidarity lies in the implementation of the wage union rather than letting in migrants.

The MP asked EU citizens to invest all their efforts into helping the “Equal wages for equal work” principle to be integrated into EU law. The most important goals are to create a “Europe that shows solidarity as well as a strong Eastern Central Europe and a liveable Hungary.” In other words, the objective is to create a country where impoverishment, indebtedness and forced emigration is replaced by life and prosperity at home.


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