Hungarian leader Viktor Orban compared the domineering spirit of the European Union with past attempts to create a unified Europe dominated by one center – including that of Adolf Hitler. Orban ticked off the Roman and Byzantine Empires, the empire of Charlemagne, the Holy Roman Empire, Napoleon and, after making a brief pause – Hitler.

The independent existence of nations and the idea of an empire, that of national cultures and European values, of sovereignty and of an ever closer union, exist at the same time, Orban said.

Hungary faces strong pressure from Brussels to water down its national sovereignty and to adopt EU policies in many areas – from the economy to the foreign policy and gender relations. Orban has strongly resisted this push and holds a proud pro-independence course, for which he often faces problems from left wing European leaders.