Even by a different name, quotas are quotas, and Hungary is against them
24. 09. 2020.
Even if in the European Commission’s new migration and asylum package presented on Wednesday quotas are referred to as something else, quotas will remain quotas, and Hungary opposes them, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán stated in Brussels on Thursday after he, together with his Polish and Czech counterparts, had talks with President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen for an hour and a half.

At a joint press conference held together with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis at the Embassy of Poland in Brussels, the Prime Minister said the tone of the Commission’s new migration package is better compared with earlier proposals; however, the Commission’s approach has not changed.

“The proposal says we should manage migration well. The Hungarian approach says we should stop migration,” he pointed out.

There is no breakthrough regarding the package of proposals. A breakthrough would occur if they accepted the Hungarian proposal that no one should be allowed to enter the European Union until a Member State – in conclusion of the relevant legal procedure – lets them into the EU’s territory, the Prime Minister highlighted.

He said no one is allowed to enter without permission and stay here until the conclusion of their procedures.

In this regard, the proposal does not constitute a breakthrough because it adopts the old approach that migrants are allowed to enter the territory of the European Union even while there is no legal judgment about whether to let them in or not. This is a poor practice, this is a weak point of the proposal, and therefore a breakthrough is yet to be reached in this regard, Mr Orbán added.

Mateusz Morawiecki said the European Union must strengthen the protection of its external borders.

It must help the countries of origin, in particular Syria in order to avoid further waves of migration, he said. He added that at the meeting with the President of the Commission, he urged the development of an EU aid plan for Belarus.

Andrej Babis said it is a forward looking element of the package that the European Commission accepted the position regarding the rejection of a quota mechanism of the Visegrád countries (Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia).

He highlighted that he agrees with the Hungarian conviction that the European Union must stop migration, and that not a single version of any quota mechanism – a mechanism for the distribution of migrants among Member States – is acceptable.

Asylum applications must be assessed outside the borders of the EU. The EU must adopt a long-term strategy to ensure that those living in the countries of origin should stay at home, Mr Babis added.