Vice President of the European Commission for Values and Transparency Vera Jourova. EPA-EFE/OLIVIER HOSLET


Budapest blasts Jourová for belittling ‘Make Europe Great Again’


Budapest has blasted Vice-President of the European Commission Vera Jourová for making fun of Hungary’s “Make Europe Great Again” (MEGA) motto for its Council Presidency.

Jourová initially made fun of the catchphrase shortly after it was announced, describing it as being “not very original” on June 25.

The jab has not been taken well by the Hungarian government, with Balasz Orbán, the political director of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s office, reminding Jourová of other mottos used by the European institutions.

“I’m not sure previous slogans such as ‘Europe, closer’, ‘Europe as a Task’, and ‘Together. Resilient. Europe.’ were bursting with creativity and innovation,” he said on his X account.

Balasz Orbán said he believed Jourová’s comment showed that “Brussels seizes the opportunity to unfairly criticise Hungary”.

He added that the motto was meant to represent Hungary’s desire to revive the competitiveness of the EU, saying that it was now “time for action”.

“We aim for an economically competitive, safe, and prosperous EU, advocating for a new competitiveness deal, a strengthened European defense policy, a consistent and merit-based enlargement policy, and a farmer-oriented agricultural policy,” he said.

Hungary’s six-month term as head of the Council has been the target of mockery and political attack since long before it officially began on July 1.

Since the beginning of Russia’s war in Ukraine, the possibility of cancelling the Hungarian presidency had been floated in Brussels over allegations that Prime Minister Orbán is too friendly with Vladimir Putin.

The proposal was even presented as a petition to the European Parliament, though efforts to bloc the Hungarian presidency ultimately came to nothing.