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Dec 06, 2017 - Zoltán Kovács

Record numbers take part in Hungary’s national consultation

More than two million Hungarians have taken part in Hungary’s latest national consultation, making their voice heard on controversial plans to resettle migrants. The participation rate marks a new record.

The struggle to shape Europe’s response to the migration crisis, however, continues, and this consultation, allowing Hungarians to have their say on an issue that would affect their everyday lives, is an important part of that fight. Hungary remains among very few European countries who give citizens the chance to have a say on the issue.

“The stakes remain the same,” said Parliamentary State Secretary Dömötör Csaba on Saturday morning, “whether Hungary will become an immigrant country or not.”

“At stake is whether they will take from us an authority of strategic significance or we will be able to keep it in our hands,” Dömötör continued, “whether we can strengthen Hungary and ultimately the security of Europe.”

“They want a compulsory and permanent program for resettlement of migrants,” said Dömötör, referring to the November 16 decision of the European Parliament, “specifically without an upper limit.”

As the deadline for submitting the questionnaires expired over the weekend, the last official numbers this Tuesday put the total number at 2,332,755. That rate of response to the national consultation on the Soros plan makes it the most significant consultation in Hungary to date and exceeds the participation rates of many of the voter referenda we’ve had in the past 27 years.

The response should not be surprising. Over the past two years, European institutions and leaders have pushed an agenda – also championed by the Hungarian-American financier George Soros – that would admit millions of undocumented migrants to Europe without the consent of the people. Meanwhile, many citizens of Europe agree that the borders of Europe should be secured to protect the freedoms and security we enjoy in the European Union.

Those of us who oppose this pro-immigration agenda now find ourselves in the political crosshairs of those who drive it. Tomorrow, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó will attend a hearing of the EP’s LIBE committee designed to steamroll and force governments and those voices that oppose immigration to change their minds. The hearing is in itself proof of the peculiar witch-hunt underway regarding the upcoming Soros report.

Even George Soros announced last week that he is stepping into Hungary’s domestic campaign, concerned about the results of the national consultation. However, let me recall one of the fundamental rules of democracy: elections are contested by political parties and it is those who are elected by the people who win a mandate to take decisions. We should be very wary of such attempts by outsiders to influence the outcome of elections.

Recently, he launched a media blitz to convince the world there is no such plan, despite facts to the contrary: he himself published the proposals in writing and specifically called it a plan. His allies, employees, surrogates and civil society activists denounce Hungary for opposing the plan, indeed for even daring to say there is such a plan. Meanwhile, the European Parliament, as Prime Minister Orbán said during his Friday radio interview, has already started to carry it out and to pressure the other European institutions to get in line as well. (See for yourself)

The prime minister advised that people should focus on what is actually happening, what decisions are being taken, rather than what Soros friends and allies are saying.

The issue, as Prime Minister Orbán said, is that the Soros network has focused its many resources on mass migration as part of an open society-inspired ideological agenda. For those of us who live and work and raise our families here in Europe, this is not some kind of sociological experiment. This is a matter of preservation of European culture, of our national heritage and national security.

The national consultation remains an important tool to give the people a chance to have their voice heard. The resounding response shows us it matters to them.