The constitutional amendment to be put before Parliament on Monday
10. 10. 2016.
The Prime Minister has said that on Monday he would submit to Parliament a Bill for amendment of the Constitution in relation to the referendum on migrant quotas. Viktor Orbán spoke about this on Kossuth Radio’s “Sunday News” programme, stating that he was counting on the support of every Member of Parliament for the amendment, which will clearly state that non-Hungarians shall not be collectively settled in Hungary.

In the interview, which was recorded on Saturday morning, the Prime Minister said that the amendment would also state that people will only be able to gain the right to live in Hungary based on individual requests duly authorised according to legislation passed by the Hungarian parliament. He added that this means there can be no collective or individual settlement.

Mr. Orbán said that the amendment will also state that the country’s form of government, administrative structure, territory and population all form part of the Hungarian nation’s constitutional identity, and as such may not be amended or overruled by any external law or regulation.

The constitutional amendment will not change the working practices of the Office of Immigration and Nationality, he said; it will reinforce the current legal situation, and the fact that it will be included in the Constitution means that it will be impossible for Brussels to amend it.

According to the Prime Minister, the Parliamentary decision will be a “boost”, because not enough people voted in the referendum to endow it with legal validity. He said that he sees it as the right course of action to submit the constitutional amendment Bill personally as the Prime Minister, to give added weight to the will of the people.

In reply to a question on whether he was counting on the support of Jobbik in the parliamentary vote, Mr. Orbán said he was counting on the support of every parliamentary party, because he is not the one who needs support. “If I needed support then I don’t think I could count on them”, he added, referring to the last debate in Parliament.

“Luckily, the vote isn’t about the Prime Minister, it isn’t about me”, he said, but about the will of 3.3 million people – and this is something which every Member of Parliament can openly support, regardless of their political affiliation, whether they are MSZP, independent or Jobbik MPs.

With regard to the referendum’s effect outside Hungary, Mr. Orbán said that one of the frontrunners for the French presidency, Nicolas Sarkozy, has declared that if elected he will hold a referendum on immigration, family reunification and the internment of suspect immigrants.

“So as I see it Europe is becoming more democratic, and more and more countries are recognising the fact that on an important issue like immigration political leaders cannot assume a decision without authorisation from the people”, the Prime Minister said.

According to Mr. Orbán, there would have been no need for a referendum in Hungary if European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and other leaders from that body had adhered to EU regulations. The European Council – the EU’s prime ministers – voted twice to reject the mandatory quota, but, regardless of this, the Commission began drawing up regulations for it, he explained.

In reply to a question on whether he had any criticism of the authorities with regard to terrorists who had been in Hungary, or the “SIM card affair”, Mr. Orbán said that these people were invited into the EU by other states, and they only stormed across Hungary while they were still able to: in the absence of a joint European solution, Hungary closed its border, built a fence and stopped them.

Since the Hungarian border has been secured it is now Hungary’s responsibility to ensure that people cannot cross the border illegally, he continued, adding that what happened earlier was not caused by Hungary and is therefore not the country’s responsibility.

With regard to anonymous SIM cards, the Prime Minister said that one must ask whether it should be possible to use phone cards in Hungary in such a way that they cannot be monitored for national security purposes. We must discuss this directly and openly and then Parliament must decide, he said.

Among tasks for the period ahead the Prime Minister listed the final accounts for the economic year and improving competitiveness. Mr. Orbán said that some kind of agreement will be required between government and the private sector to improve the whole country’s competitiveness. The Prime Minister added that he continues to see further reductions in bureaucracy as an important task.