János Áder’s speech in the Hungarian National Assembly after being elected

Therefore the second thought I would like to share with you on this occasion is respect. It is crucially important that we realise and remain alert to the fact that there is only a minuscule difference between multiplicity on the one hand, and sterile, selfish, egotistical discord on the other, which is so self-destructive to the community. And that difference hinges on the presence or absence of mutual respect. In that minute difference yawns the chasm which separates whole worlds from each other.

It is my earnest belief that we Hungarians will be able to prove our vitality only if we are able to discuss our problems, gently on occasion, fiercely on other occasions and if need be, but always maintaining our respect for one another.

This refers in particular to all those who, as politicians, are responsible for the prosperity of their towns, villages, cities or for our country as a whole. We must be careful about the kind of example we set. We must be careful about the values we transmit.

Fellow Hungarians! Nowadays, there is hardly a citizen, a family, a community in this country who does not have the sense that they have been unfairly treated over the past years and decades, and who is not marked by wounds that are slow to heal. And the world of politics is no exception.

What can we do in such a situation? My suggestion is that we should not waste our lives wondering how to take revenge for past offences! Let us focus instead on how to repair our failures and right our mistakes.

I honestly believe that the people of Hungary were born to be successful. But if we want our endeavours to succeed, we must first settle a few things among ourselves that we have until now left unresolved.

As Attila József put it so well, we must first “take responsibility for the past.” We must finally come to terms with and correct our mistakes. We must learn from our failures.

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