Hungary's border fence – Photo: wikipedia

Retvari: EU ministers adopt position on mandatory distribution of migrants

The European Union has proposed distributing migrants among member states on a mandatory basis, and this would result in illegal migrants and the human traffickers who smuggle them into Europe deciding who gets to live in Europe, an interior ministry official has said.

Hungary and Poland voted against a position on the EU’s refugee reform adopted by the council of the interior ministers, Bence Retvari, the state secretary of the ministry, told MTI in Luxembourg late on Thursday. Member states that refuse to accommodate migrants would have to pay an equivalent of 8 million forints (EUR 22,000) per migrant, he noted.

Also, he said the distribution of the burdens of border control and border procedures was “disproportionate”, and the Hungarian authorities would be required to perform 28.3 percent of all border procedures “just because Hungarian authorities have a precise record of the number of illegal migrants it has turned back”.

The state secretary said no progress had been made on EU financing for border protection, adding that the Hungarian government had spent more than 1.5 billion euros on border control infrastructure.

The EU proposal, Retvari said, was “dangerous” since it contained mechanisms that would “promote illegal migration”.

He further insisted that the procedure by which the position paper had been adopted had been “a textbook example of double standards and a travesty of European values”, adding that the council of ministers had “disregarded the fact that it is the European Council that has the powers to pass decisions concerning the EU’s refugee reform”.

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