Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has proposed a ten-point action plan for protecting the external borders of the European Union and free movement within the EU.
The Prime Minister spoke about the “Schengen 2.0” plan at the meeting of the Centrist Democrat International (CDI) held in Lisbon on Friday. In an interview with public service media, he said that the plan is necessary because the European Commission’s proposal for management of the migration crisis is wrong-headed. The latter seeks to reform the asylum system, while Hungary takes the view that “we must protect the borders”, said Mr. Orbán, who is one of the vice-presidents of the CDI, an international organisation of centrist parties of Christian democratic orientation.
The action plan will also be circulated among the Visegrád countries and other EU Prime Ministers over the next few days. Next week Mr. Orbán will present the proposal in Germany in person, and also in a number of other European countries over the following weeks. The Prime Minister takes the view that it must be made clear to the EU that “it is not acceptable – as would be the case under the Commission’s proposal – for someone in Brussels to decide that the countries of the EU must solve their demographic and economic problems through immigration”.
Mr. Orbán said that “We believe that there are countries in the EU which wish to solve their problems in this manner, and there are others which do not”. He pointed out that Hungary falls into the latter group, because it does not seek to remedy such problems through immigration, but through prudent family and economic policy. He said that the EU cannot deprive Hungary of the right “to decide how we wish to resolve these problems”; in other words, the EU cannot create a system which it lets in migrants and then prescribes mandatory resettlement quotas for every Member State, he argued. The Prime Minister said that this is why the referendum planned to be held in Hungary in relation to the mandatory resettlement quota is important, because “now that we have Brussels’ official proposal on the table, there is enormous pressure on us. […] If we do not stop Brussels with a referendum, they will indeed impose on us […] masses of people, with whom we do not wish to live together”.
A number of other issues were also discussed at the CDI meeting, including the Panama offshore scandal. Mr. Orbán said that attendees pledged to aim for full transparency in this matter. “Every country with low taxes must disclose information to those countries enquiring about investments made there by their own nationals”, he said. During his visit to Portugal the Prime Minister will also have talks with Pedro Passos Coelho, President of the Portuguese Social Democratic Party (PSD) and Portuguese head of state Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.
(Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister)