A successful policy for Hungarian communities abroad cannot be pursued unless the mother country is strong, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said at the 16th Hungarian Permanent Conference in Budapest on Friday. “The mother country has gained in strength,” Orbán said. It has succeeded in creating an educational network and “intellectual hinterland” throughout the Carpathian asin, he added. A consensus has also been achieved when it comes to important questions such as citizenship, voting rights for Hungarians living beyond the border, and the autonomy of Hungarian minorities in neighbouring countries, he said. The aim is to provide ways for all Hungarians to legally become part of the Hungarian community should they decide to, he said. The past period has been dedicated to unifying the nation, Orbán said, adding that the upcoming period would be about building the nation. Citing his recent speech in Cluj-Napoca (Kolozsvár) in Transylvania, he said: “In the Carpathian Basin, the future is written in Hungarian”. The government considers the Carpathian Basin to be the space where the Hungarian nation and language can be nurtured, he said. “The task is not simply having to protect our rights and communities but we must contribute to the ideas and plans concerning the future of central Europe, applying our own Hungarian logic and way of thinking and keeping our interests in mind,” he said. By connecting the different parts of the nation, Orbán said he was convinced that “we will be able to exercise significant influence”. Everybody can witness in the region that those that work together with Hungarians will be better off, Orbán said. The idea that central European peoples have an interest in mutual strength has gained traction in the Carpathian Basin, Orbán said. Strong neighbouring countries are in Hungary’s national interest as a basis for strong alliances, he said. These countries have also embraced cross-border economic development programmes, he noted. Fending off the wave of migration on the southern borders is an enormous national achievement, Orbán said. He thanked Hungarians in Serbia.