File Photo: Prime Minister David Cameron won broad backing from Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orban for his EU reform proposals.
Prime Minister David Cameron Thursday won broad backing from Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orban for his EU reform proposals but not for his idea to freeze welfare benefits for EU migrants in Britain.
Speaking at a joint press conference with Cameron in Budapest, Orban said Hungary "fully supported" three out of four of Cameron's proposals but not his plan to restrict benefits for EU migrants for their first four years in Britain.
"We are citizens of a state that belongs to the EU and one whose people can take jobs anywhere in the EU, we don't want to go the UK and take something away, we don't want to be parasites," Orban said.
"Hungarians contribute well to the British economy so they shouldn't accept discrimination," Orban said.
Battling to secure support before Britain's referendum on membership in the 28-nation bloc by the end of 2017, Cameron wants the EU to cut bureaucracy, and shift more powers from Brussels to member states, as well as slash benefits for migrants.
Cameron said the plans "remain on the table" but that he is "open to alternative solutions" before a meeting of EU leaders next month in Brussels.
"Goodwill and creative thinking can find solutions," he said.
Orban said he was "optimistic" however that agreement on Cameron's proposals among the 'Visegrad 4' bloc of central European EU members -- including Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic -- could be reached, even on the "more difficult" including welfare system reform idea.
A common position by the Visegrad 4 bloc was necessary as other countries like much larger Poland were more affected by Cameron's plan on benefits.
Some 55,000 Hungarian-born citizens are working in Britain according to Orban, although unofficial estimates put the figure at several hundred thousand.
The word "migrants" in Cameron's proposals has also been a sticking point for Orban who has fought a year-long battle to keep migrants from entering Hungary including building border fences.
"It is very important that we are not considered as migrants, words matter here...language plays a very important role in our politics".