János Áder was due to visit the town of Bochnia in Poland on March 23, on the occasion of the Polish-Hungarian Friendship Day, but now it seems that the Hungarian president will not travel.
A statue would have been inaugurated, but it seems that the whole program has been canceled in Poland
The statue of Saint Kinga, the daughter of Hungarian King Béla IV, was reportedly unveiled on March 23 in the southern Polish town of Bochnia by Hungarian President János Áder and Polish President Andrzej Duda, but organizers have canceled the program, Azonnali.hu was informed.
According to the news, the current Hungarian President, János Áder, will not visit Poland at all. (Katalin Novák, Hungary’s new president, will take office on May 10.)
As of Friday afternoon, the Polish side had still not received a request for permission from the office of the President of the Republic of Hungary to allow János Áder’s armed bodyguards to cross the Polish border.
This is of course a formality, and during a friendly presidential visit, the host country almost automatically grants the authorization, but it is a “compulsory circle” to be carried out between the official authorities of the two states.
It seems likely that the program will be officially “postponed” because of the war, but many say the reason is that Andrzej Duda did not want to appear publicly with his Hungarian counterpart at such a ceremonial event due to the pro-Russian position of Hungary.
Polish-Hungarian Friendship Day
The Hungarian and Polish parliaments declared March 23 as Polish-Hungarian Friendship Day in 2007, and since then both countries have celebrated with special programs. Due to the pandemic, personal meetings were canceled in 2020 and 2021, but, for example, a virtual commemoration was organized in 2021 by János Áder and Andrzej Duda, the presidents of the two countries.
Although the current political situation does not affect people who will surely continue the friendship, it seems that the Polish-Hungarian relationship has been strained due to the Russian-Ukrainian war.
The situation of the Visegrád Four
The Visegrád Four Alliance has so far operated in two ways: as a central European association able to represent the 4 participating states (the Czech Republic and Slovakia in addition to Hungary and Poland) in the European political arena, and between the 4 States.
It was an opportunity for political and professional cooperation. However, the Visegrád Four are not completely united: while Hungary and Poland have resisted certain policies within the EU, Slovakia and the Czech Republic have shown a much friendlier approach towards the political elite in Brussels.
Can Orbán isolate himself internationally?
If the current Polish-Hungarian political alliance weakens, Orbán’s position on the international political scene will certainly become more difficult. He will find it difficult to assert his will if he loses his main ally, and Poland will obviously turn to new allies.
The Polish prime minister, for example, as well as the Czech and Slovenian prime ministers, visited war-torn Kyiv recently, while Orbán did not join them.