Taking in migrants may be made compulsory based on new migration and asylum proposal package
26. 09. 2020.
Hungary does not support the European Commission’s new migration and asylum proposal package as it may force Hungary to take in migrants, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán stressed in an interview given to the news agency Reuters on Friday.

The Prime Minister said, according to the proposal, the system for sending back migrants arriving in the Southern states, mainly in Italy and Greece, and proving to be ineligible to stay may become an obligation for Hungary to take migrants in. Budapest will not agree to anything that could result in the mandatory resettlement of people coming from the Middle East and Africa, he highlighted. “This is highly problematic. This is none other than the renaming of relocation which we continue to reject. This is unacceptable for the Hungarian people,” he underlined, pointing out it is also important that the asylum applications of asylum-seekers should be assessed outside the territory of the EU.

The Prime Minister took the view that the devil is in the detail, and said it is good news that “some taboos have disappeared,” among others in the context of the fact that there is now more emphasis on the expulsion of rejected asylum-seekers. Hungary is very strict in that it does not want a parallel society, an open society or a mixed culture, he pointed out. “We don’t think that a mixture of Muslim and Christian society could be a peaceful one and could provide security and a good life for the people,” he said. The Prime Minister described the departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union as a brave decision, but added that Hungary cannot afford to follow this path as it is now too closely integrated into the EU economically, and reason dictates that we stay.

In his view, the EU can only blame itself for the outcome of the Brexit referendum as it did not treat Britain appropriately. “We made mistakes. Terrible mistakes,” he said. “Brexit is a brave decision of the British people about their own life. […] We considered it as evidence of the greatness of the British,” he said. He underlined that despite a great many disputes regarding issues such as migration or the rule of law, support for the EU is extremely high in Hungary. Mr Orbán also expressed his conviction that Donald Trump would win the US presidential election on 3 November. “Trump will win,” he said.

“We have exceptionally good relations with Trump,” he stated, and said in answer to a question that if nonetheless the Democrat Joe Biden were to win the election, “the level of openness, and kindness and helping each other will probably be lower”. He highlighted that in the event of Trump’s victory, the European Union will have to normalise its trade relations with the United States, and will have to settle the issue of the long-term stationing of US troops on European soil. He added that the re-election of the US President would be good news for those who look upon the EU as a community of Member States, not as a centralised bloc built around institutions.

Mr Orbán also mentioned that the EU should do away with the sanctions against Russia. He said the government likewise sees no reason for the introduction of further restrictions in connection with the case of the poisoned Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny, but if initiated by the community they are ready to consider them. “We should be very, very tough on the military side in relations with Russia, and we should be very cooperative on the trade side,” he highlighted, pointing out that Europe should have a formidable army if it wants equal relations with Russia. He took the view that the EU cannot force Cyprus – which has blocked sanctions against Belarus so far – to accept the introduction of sanctions, and they will have to continue talks.

The Prime Minister finally said his government would like to boost the economy after the coronavirus epidemic by encouraging investment and reducing taxes. “We concentrate on investments because if there are investments there are jobs as well,” he stated. In answer to a question regarding the exchange rate of the forint, he said this falls within the competence of the National Bank of Hungary. “If you look at the figures of the Hungarian economy in the last several years, they are splendid, and this is partly owing to the National Bank. The facts give us confidence,” Mr Orbán underlined.