PM Orbán: European Court decision won’t change Hungary’s immigration policies

Friday, September 8, 2017

Hungary is a member of the European Union, EU treaties must be respected, therefore the rulings of the European Court of Justice must be acknowledged, said Prime Minister Viktor Orbán this morning in response to the decision from the European Court of Justice on migrant quotas. However, he added, that is not a reason to change Hungary’s immigration policies, which reject mass migration.

On Wednesday, the European Court of Justice dismissed Hungary’s and Slovakia’s challenge to the European Council’s 2015 decision imposing a mandatory migrant resettlement scheme.

“Until this point, we carried out a legal battle,” the prime minister said during this morning’s regular biweekly radio interview on Kossuth Radio’s 180 Minutes. “From this point on, we will have to fight a political battle.”

“The real battle is only beginning,” he added, emphasizing that this decision does not oblige Hungary to take action. “This decision was about whether the [one-time resettlement scheme] was born in a lawful environment. Now we have come to the question of realization,” the prime minster said, referring to the difficulties in carrying it out, “the debate about whether the Commission’s decision can or cannot be realized.”

The European Commission, according to PM Orbán, put on the table a recommendation for a permanent relocation mechanism – in addition to the temporary measure that was contested in this court case – a relocation scheme that is the “heart of the Soros-plan on immigration.

“The important question is are we in a community of European free nations, or part of an empire with headquarters in Brussels. The question of freedom and sovereignty is at stake,” he said.

The prime minister recalled that in 2015, the heads of states in the European Council decided that any resettlement quotas within the European Union must be voluntary and that agreement was “even put in writing in the [Council] Conclusions.” Nevertheless, the European Commission pushed through a decision on mandatory quotas. With the European Court of Justice siding with the European Commission on this question, it “opens the doors for the plan of George Soros,” Orbán said, but “the people of Soros in Brussels must be stopped.”

The European Court of Justice’s ruling does not mean that Hungary is going to change its immigration policy.

“It is unacceptable that such a person exists, who thinks he is authorized to decide in Brussels who it is that we should live together with in Budapest,” Orbán said, underlining that Hungary's challenge to the decision is not simply about the circa 1200 persons the European Commission would want Hungary to receive. More importantly, it’s about a significant national competence – immigration policy – being taken away from the member states.

“We don’t think it is a question of solidarity to give up a nation’s constitutional rules and national sovereignty. Brussels on the other hand thinks that whatever they declare solidarity, that’s solidarity,” Orbán said in response to a question about whether Hungary should receive migrants to show solidarity with the so-called European club. “This is a dictate.”

Hungary “is helping [Europe] in many ways, we protect the southern borders of Europe like we have done many times in the past one thousand years,” and that should be considered a real act of solidarity.

“When water floods the house, one should not debate about how much water should be taken into each room,” the prime minister said, “but the sources of the leaks must be closed.” He added that Hungary is ready to “help Germany to take out the [illegal] migrants who came here [from the EU],” but not by taking them to Budapest. [emphasis added]



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