In an address before the start of the day’s business in Parliament, in which he gave an account of the EU summit held at the end of last week, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán described prevention of the introduction of compulsory resettlement quotas as the highest priority in the coming period.
The Prime Minister announced that at its meeting on Wednesday the Government will formulate its position on what action should be taken against the Brussels plan for a compulsory resettlement quota system.
Mr. Orbán pointed out in summary that the fact that “the situation will be increasingly difficult in the West” is a major threat for this year; in his view there is enormous pressure on Hungary and the other three countries of the Visegrád cooperation: Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Poland.
This matter, he continued, relates to whether or not the EU will succeed in pushing a new EU migrant system “down the throats of the Central European countries”; this system would authorise the EU to distribute migrants admitted by individual Member States among the other countries of the EU.
Therefore, he said, what will be at stake at the next EU summit – which has been brought forward to the beginning of March – is whether the heads of state and government will sanction a compulsory resettlement quota system; he said that, as part of the EU’s legal system and as a kind of permanent asylum mechanism, this system would continuously transport to Hungary migrants whom Hungary does not wish to let in and whom Hungary has been stopping at its southern borders.
The Prime Minister sees warding off this “attack from Brussels” as the highest priority in the next few weeks and months.
Mr. Orbán said that the Hungarian government will evaluate the situation at its meeting on Wednesday, and will formulate a position as to how to avert “Brussels’ attempt to use its regulatory regime to transport and settle in Hungary – on an ongoing basis, over the years – unforeseeable numbers of people with whom we do not wish to live”.
In evaluating last year’s migration situation, Mr. Orbán said that 2015 was a difficult year for the whole of the EU, as “millions of unidentified and unknown people emerged in an uncontrolled manner on the southern borders of the continent and Hungary”. The Hungarian response, he said, was “controls, identification, interception and turning back”, as required under the Schengen Agreement.
In his view, the most important development in the latest EU summit was that for the first time the Hungarian approach was adopted for the whole of Europe, and the EU finally declared that stopping the migrants is the number one task.
The summit in Brussels made it clear, he continued, that the external borders must be protected; this had previously been a secondary consideration, compared to other asylum and humanitarian criteria.
The summit also made it clear that everyone must fully observe the terms of the Schengen Agreement, Mr. Orbán said. He said that, in a political sense, at this point in time the EU is where it should have been one year ago.
He remarked that the countries on the Balkan route, including Austria, “have embarked on a path of common sense”.
“Whichever way they may put it, and no matter how they argue”, he concluded, at the EU summit principles were approved and tasks were designated on the issue of migration which the Hungarian government has proposed throughout.
It follows from this, he said, that “the protection of our southern borders is now a realistic option”, and if the Austrians and the countries situated on the Balkan route keep their word, it will be easier to protect Hungary’s southern borders. At the same time, he stressed that this will not be easy, physical barriers will have to be reinforced, “and it is also conceivable that they may have to be extended”. The Government has not yet decided on such extension, but it is prepared for this eventuality.
(Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister - edited by hungarianambiance.com)