Prime Minister Viktor Orbán - Photo: PMO

Orbán: ‘Border is a border’; illegal entry ‘crime, not a human right’

Hungarian law sees illegal border crossing as "a crime rather than human right", and Hungary stops illegal migrants from crossing the borders, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said at the NatCon event in Brussels on Wednesday.

Speaking at the National Conservatism Conference with Yoram Hazony, the head of the Herzl Institute, Orbán said migrants awaiting the assessment of their asylum request should wait outside of the borders of the European Union. Unless Europe achieves that, the issue of migration cannot be solved, he said.

Orbán said Hungary did not want a mixed society and wanted to protect its borders and to preserve its culture and traditions.

He said there was no need for a common EU migration policy, but member states should decide on the ways they wanted to “solve the issue of migration”.

The issue of migration hinged on matters of civilisation, Orbán said. Europe is rooted in Christianity, and those currently wanting to settle here were from other cultures, mainly with a Muslim background, he said.

Migration also had a historic perspective, Orbán said. People must ask themselves what Hungary would look like in future, and whether it would have a Christian, Muslim or other background, he said.

The prime minister said everyone should decide for themselves on the “environment and culture” they wanted to create in their country, and refrain from forcing their will on others.

Orbán said Hungary was of the opinion that the mixed society envisioned by liberals would “not end well”.

Countries, he said, could not be prescribed methods to combat aging societies. Hungary, he added, did not see “forcing migration” as a solution to that problem, but was working to improve the situation through a robust family support system.

Meanwhile, Orbán said conservative governments “seen as misbehaving by Brussels” were being “blackmailed”. Rather than “a guardian of the European treaties”, the European Commission had become a political player, he said.

Orbán insisted that the EU’s leadership was “forcing migration” because liberals wanted to collect more votes. The true reason was not economic or political, but an aim to obtain strength through votes, he said.

Hungary “is an island” of difference in Europe’s “progressive liberal ocean”, Orbán said, adding that Hungary was a place where conservatives were free to speak and make political plans for the future.

He said freedom fighters must once again be active and take action in Europe. Conservative civil societies must join conservatives ready to fight for freedom, he said. “Hungary is the right place for this,” he added.

Commenting on the geopolitical situation, Orbán said Hungary did not want to have a common border with Russia once again, as it had during Soviet times. Hungary recognises Ukraine’s rights and independence, he said, adding that the Russian attack against Ukraine went completely against all international treaties and all commonly respected values. At the same time, it must be acknowledged that Ukraine “is currently a protectorate of the West”, which means that the country would not exist without the continual supply of weapons and financial support, he said. “Ukraine is not an independent country anymore,” he added.

Orbán said the Hungarian government did not want to give up good economic cooperation between Hungary and Russia, adding that the Russia-Ukraine war was not Hungary’s war. The Ukrainians “want to protect their country, which is their decision”, he added.

At the same time, he said the reason for the war was connected with the issue of Ukraine’s prospective membership of NATO, adding that Russia would never allow Ukraine to become a member of the alliance in its current form. He said they would do everything to ensure that a buffer zone remained between NATO and Russia. A ceasefire and peace talks would be better than pursuing the war as it must be accepted that Ukraine “cannot win on the battlefield”, Orbán said. “This is the reality,” he added.

He also said that Hungary condemned all attacks against Israel and recognised the country’s right to self-defence. The broadening of the Middle East conflict must be prevented because this would destabilise Europe and threaten peace and security, Orbán said.

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