Prime Minister Viktor Orbán - Photo: PMO

Orbán: Hungary won’t carry out EU’s migration decisions

Hungary will not carry out the European Union's decisions on migration; the country does not accept mandatory quotas or the obligation to build camps for migrants or "migrant ghettos", Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said on Friday.

The EU decisions would involve replacing an effective Hungarian model with an “obviously non-functioning” new European model, he said at a Hungary-Austria-Serbia migration summit in Vienna.

The EU decisions would involve replacing an effective Hungarian model with an “obviously non-functioning” new European model, he said at a Hungary-Austria-Serbia migration summit in Vienna.

Hungary will find the legal and political means in order to prevent Brussels’ decisions from being implemented, he said.

Orbán added that the situation was “sad” because Hungary had to protect itself not only against illegal migrants and people smugglers, but also against Brussels.

Hungarians are protecting not just Hungary, but the whole of Europe, including Austria, against illegal migrants, Orbán said.

A total of 330,000 illegal migrants were stopped at Europe’s borders last year, 270,000 of whom were apprehended at the Hungary-Serbia border, Orbán said.

The prime minister highlighted Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic’s work in the international cooperation, and said “without Serbia and Hungary there would be hundreds of thousands more illegal migrants in Austria, Germany, and the Netherlands”.

Orbán thanked Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer for his support to Hungary at the latest EU summit. “Because some solutions could be good for the sea but they may not work on land,” he said. “Few people understood that approach in the room, but the Austrian chancellor clarified the situation and tried to help – it was not for him that he did not succeed,” Orbán added.

The Hungarian model is effective and is based on the simple idea that no one can enter the territory of a country until their asylum request has been evaluated, the prime minister said. Asylum seekers can enter the country in question once their request is approved, he added. This is a practicable model and should be adopted in all other countries of Europe, Orbán said. “But this is not happening; rules stipulating mandatory quotas and building migrant ghettos in member states have been adopted in Brussels,” he said. He added that while those rules were “bad for Hungary”, they could also “worsen the situation for Austria from the direction of Hungary”.

Answering a question, Orbán said the Hungarian government had already made a decision concerning Sweden’s NATO accession and granted its support. He added, however that the Hungarian parliament had not yet ratified the decision. The government is in communication with the chief of NATO and with Turkey, “when we see that something needs to be done, we will act,” the Hungarian prime minister added.

Answering another question on energy, Orbán said Serbia had received its gas supplies via Hungary “over long decades”, adding that “as much as they needed was at their disposal”. The situation has now been reversed, Hungary is receiving gas from Serbia “with Serbs behaving the same way as Hungarians before”, he said.

According to Orbán, this is a good example of the close ties between countries in central Europe and of the significance of those nations “being aware of their shared fate irrespective of political ideologies”.

Concerning a question on migration, Orbán called Hungary “a country in which, with some exaggeration, there are zero migrants . this is the only migrant-free place in the whole of Europe.” He said most migrants “will be caught” if they attempt to cross the fence along the border with Serbia and “they will no longer arrive in Austria as illegal migrants.” He added that Hungary’s “legal protection” tied entry to a completed asylum procedure: “those arriving in any other way will be taken back to the other side of the border”.

“This is the only practicable model,” Orbán said, but added that “the EU does not dare to pass this decision concerning external hotspots.” “But as long as they don’t, any measure will have a reversed outcome,” he warned.

Any regulation failing to suggest that “you must wait outside” will be “interpreted as a letter of invitation . as long as the EU is reluctant to say that migrants should wait for completion of their procedures outside, tens of thousands of human tragedies will entail,” Orbán said.

But the rather than passing that decision, the EU would “drag the only country that has made that decision back into a failed migration policy,” he said.


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