After arriving at the summit venue, the Hungarian prime minister said that Hungary was approaching the negotiating table with the goal that “if indeed there is agreement with the Turks, it only contains provisions on the reception of those arriving from Turkey which are applied on a voluntary basis and not on the basis of coercion”.
Mr. Orbán stressed that it is important for Hungary to retain its scope for decision-making, and to be able to exercise its national jurisdiction in rejecting compulsory “movement of population”.
In answer to a journalist’s question, the Prime Minister said that he believes there is a chance of achieving this goal.
He added that in the debate on visa issues, Hungary has always taken the view that Ukraine should be granted EU visa exemption as soon as possible – and in any circumstances before Turkey. He also said that “Today and tomorrow in Brussels I see things moving in this direction”.
Mr. Orbán summed up by saying that “This is so that we can protect Hungarian interests – and we will have to see what else will happen in addition to this”.
According to the proposed agreement under discussion, Ankara is requesting: further financial aid from the European Union in order to provide for Syrian refugees on Turkish territory; the speeding up of EU accession talks; and, by the end of June, removal of the visa requirement for Turkish citizens travelling to the EU. In return, Turkey would take back migrants who arrive illegally in Greece after the agreement enters into force. At the same time, however, in exchange for each Syrian citizen taken back by Turkey, the EU would be required to take in one Syrian refugee directly from Turkey.