Press statement by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán after a meeting of the prime ministers of the Visegrád Group countries
23 November 2021, Budapest

Good afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen.

We are together here today because the Visegrád Four have held a meeting at Poland’s initiative. After his trip to the Baltic states a day or two ago, the Polish prime minister has honoured us by coming to Budapest and briefing the V4 first-hand on the situation on the Polish border. We looked at various aspects of this. Of course other European issues were also discussed, but today we focused mainly and especially on migration and its economic and geopolitical aspects. In short, I can tell you that the European Union has never been under the pressure that it is under now. There has always been migration from one direction or another, but never from three directions at once. This is a huge challenge for the whole European Union. There is a constant influx from the South, from sub-Saharan Africa. NGO boats are constantly transporting migrants across the sea to the shores of Europe. The Western Balkan route is full again, and by the beginning of November the number of illegal migrants apprehended at the Hungarian border had reached 100,000. Here I must thank Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and our Czech friends who, since our last meeting, have sent border guards to the Hungarian border; and at Hungary’s southern border more than 4,000 illegal border crossers have been apprehended by Czech border guards. Dear Andrej, on behalf of all the citizens of Hungary, I thank you for this help. And the Balkan route – on which we have stopped 100,000 illegal migrants at the Hungarian border so far this year – is the route along which those leaving Afghanistan will also come. In today’s meeting we also reviewed the situation related to outflow from Afghanistan, and we can say that 30,000 to 35,000 people are leaving Afghanistan every day, in order to go somewhere else. The European Union must expect pressure on the Balkan route to increase.

And then there is the third direction, the new attack that the Poles are suffering: our Polish friends are under attack through migration from the East. Because of this situation we have had to come together. This is a challenge that in terms of scale is greater than any earlier one. My personal view is that Brussels is pursuing misguided policies. Brussels funds practically everything that increases migration pressure. Everything that is known in international migration jargon as a “pull factor” is being activated, and the European Union is funding all of it: it is supporting NGOs, promoting integration programmes, and so on. The only thing it does not provide money for is the physical defence of the border. So the Hungarian position continues to be that the European Union must pay the costs of European border defence; this financial burden must not be exclusively borne by those countries which geography and history have assigned to the external borders of the European Union. Hungary has always offered the EU a fair agreement: we are protecting the Hungarians at the border, of course, but we are also protecting the whole of Europe; and it would be fair if we at least split the costs. Let half of the costs be paid by us Hungarians, but let the other half be paid by Brussels, bearing in mind that we are not only defending ourselves, but also the whole of Europe. We also recommend that the European Union should not support any country that is directly or indirectly involved in the migration pressure exerted on the European Union’s external border – including the Polish border.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

At the meeting we assured Poland of our full solidarity and support.

Thank you very much.