Energy security has been one of the priorities for Hungary’s presidency of the Visegrad Group over the past year, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said on Tuesday at a press conference in Budapest attended by V4 Heads of Governments, following an event marking the end of Hungary's one-year V4 Presidency.

Examples of this, he mentioned, are the recent Polish proposal for a European energy union and the natural gas interconnector between Hungary and Slovakia, which allows gas to be transported to Hungary from a non-Russian source for the first time.

The Hungarian Prime Minister emphasised that all agreements aimed at building the North-South transport corridors have been signed during the country’s presidency. "It is no illusion that in a few years, roads and rail links of the highest standards will be available for travel from the Adriatic to the Baltic Sea," he underlined.

Earlier in the day, speaking at the conference titled "The Visegrad Group – Growth Engine of Europe" Prime Minister Orbán stated that Europe needs new tools in the new era it has embarked on, adding that it was time Central European countries voiced their opinions on sensitive issues. He also insisted that without the Central European region, the continent's economy would not grow.

Hungary's position is that the European Union's treaties, including the financial ones, must be observed, and Hungary rejects any "surreptitious" changes to the EU's basic treaty.

Furthermore, it considers blocking some sections of the fiscal pact, which is an "extremely dangerous experiment," the Prime Minister added. On immigration, the Hungarian Government is of the opinion that the free movement of labour must be ensured within the EU, but external immigration should be significantly slowed down, he pointed out.

If the continent needs skilled labour it should spend more on training its existing unskilled workforce, he added. He also stated that Europe must respect its past in order to renew itself and it must respect Christianity and nation states, adding that it was important that marriage and family are not turned into relative values.

He urged cheaper energy sources and said everyone should be given jobs, as this would put the economy on the right track, underlining that the state, if temporarily, should assume a larger role in job creation.

At the conference, Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico argued for the importance of the European Union's cohesion policy. He said that under Slovakia's V4 Presidency, focus would be on competitiveness, growth, energy security, transport relations and job creation.

Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka stressed that the structural funds are the basic pillars of integration and help reduce the differences between the economic developments of member states.

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said that Central European states were "players" who were able to voice their shared opinions in the EU. President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso also addressed the conference, saying that the message of voters in the European parliamentary elections was that there is a need for growth and job creation in Europe.

He said all measures must be taken to enhance living and working conditions and to this end the efficiency of utilising EU resources needs to be improved.