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It is high time for European solidarity to prevail in border protection as well

Friday, September 1, 2017


Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has written to Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission, asking the Brussels body to make a 50 per cent contribution to Hungary’s border protection costs. In the letter Mr. Orbán states that Hungary is protecting not only itself against the flood of illegal migrants, but the whole of Europe. On Friday Bertalan Havasi, the Prime Minister’s press chief, made the full text of the letter available to kormany.hu.

Mr. Orbán stressed that the security of European citizens has been financed by Hungarian taxpayers, and wrote the following:

“I am contacting you regarding the protection of the external borders of the European Union and European solidarity. As you well know, Hungary has followed the Schengen rules requiring the protection of the external borders since the very beginning of the migration crisis. With the construction of the fence, training and placing three thousand border-hunters into active service, our country is protecting not only itself, but the whole of Europe against the flood of illegal migrants.”

The Prime Minister pointed out that the defence of European borders has cost Hungary a total of 270 billion forints; he also emphasised that over the past two years Hungary has shouldered these major, open-ended costs almost entirely alone.

In closing, Mr. Orbán wrote:

“According to the Hungarian position, it is high time for European solidarity to prevail in practice in the field of border protection as well. We are convinced that, similarly to the cases of Greece and Italy, the European Union should take part in bearing the extraordinary expenses that were incurred in Hungary, but served the common interest of the European Union. We would consider it reasonable to split the costs that emerged in Hungary, adding up to 270 billion forints (EUR 883.2 million), between the European Union and Hungary into two equal parts.”

At the end of his letter, he reassured the President of the Commission that solidarity is an important principle of the European community:

“When Hungary had to protect the common external borders, we started with immediate action and not a request for help. I hope that, in the spirit of European solidarity, we can rightly expect that the European Commission, acting on behalf of the Member States, will reimburse half of our extraordinary border protection expenses in the foreseeable future.”

(Press Office of the Prime Minister)

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