Outrageous: The New York Times compares migrants to the victims of the Holocaust
Right there on the front page of the print edition, no less.Read more
Members of the European Parliament are so worried about the activities of certain foreign-funded NGOs that they’re calling for the EU to cut public funding for NGOs "demonstrably disseminating untruths". Others question "democratic legitimacy" of NGOs.
“It would be foolish to transfer even more spheres of competence to Brussels, especially when it is apparent that is it the member states who are providing effective solutions to historic challenges," Minister Szijjártó said
“The problem with [ideology-driven thinking] is that it gives an answer to the question before facts are considered,” Prime Minister Orbán said in his radio interview this morning, adding that this kind of thinking has tied up and hindered the West.
Hungary will hold a popular referendum on October 2nd, 2016 on the so-called quota package, the plan whereby the European Union could relocate an unlimited number of migrants to the territory of Hungary and other Member States. “Do you want the European Union,” the referendum question asks voters, “to be able to mandate the obligatory resettlement of non-Hungarian citizens into Hungary even without the approval of the National Assembly?”
European citizens are down on the EU, according to a study carried out in 28 member states earlier this year. Revealing a disturbing pessimism about the current and future European Union, it seems that citizens like the EU far less than ever before.
Péter Szijjártó, minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade for Hungary, says his Luxembourg counterpart had "long left the ranks of politicians who could be taken seriously" and was "patronising, arrogant and frustrated"
In a little over a month, Hungarian voters will go to the polls in a national referendum. They will vote on one question: Do you want the European Union to be able to mandate the obligatory resettlement of non-Hungarian citizens into Hungary even without the approval of the National Assembly?
As hideous terror attacks at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport draw attention away from this week’s European Summit and politicians struggle to find the appropriate response to the outcome of the Brexit referendum, EU leadership seems to be grasping for direction.
“Brussels must listen to the voice of the people. This is the biggest takeaway from yesterday’s decision,” said Prime Minister Viktor Orbán commenting on the result of Thursday’s referendum in which voters in the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union.
“The decision is yours, but I would like you to know that Hungary is proud to stand with you as a member of the European Union.” Signed by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, this is the text of a full-page advertisement that appeared in the British print media today. This is Hungary’s prime minister taking a stand, like many other European leaders, on an issue that’s important to Europe and important to Hungary.
International relations has its political dimension. Certain interests will support a government or oppose it motivated by a political agenda. That’s understandable. But when purely partisan politics becomes the most important driving force behind bilateral or multilateral relations among sovereign, independent countries, then we’ve got a serious problem.
While elites will inevitably maneuver to shape politics in a democracy, it is up to the people to decide on a country’s direction, Prime Minister Orbán emphasized in his regular radio interview this morning. Every thirty years or so, Hungary finds itself in the spotlight on the stage of international politics, he said, but people should not allow themselves to be deterred by the blinding spotlights.
Jaws dropped across the European Union last week as the Eurocrats revealed their latest proposal. Whether it was in the way they dehumanized refugees by putting price tags on their heads or accused elected prime ministers of being undemocratic, the tendentious actions of the Eurocrats seem to be deliberately intended to alienate friends and supporters of the European idea. With the Brexit referendum just around the corner, Eurocrats would do well to exercise more restraint.
European member states are exceptionally busy these days. Although some critics suggest that they seem asleep at the wheel in the wake of the biggest migration crisis the continent has seen for decades, the European Commission and some individual member states have drafted proposals to respond to the crisis. These plans are currently vying with one another, all in preparation for the upcoming European Council Summit.
“Hungary has an interest in the alleviation of the Russian embargo and in its partial lifting with regard to agricultural products,” said Gyula Budai, ministerial commissioner for economic measures relating to the Russian embargo, speaking at a press conference in the southern town of Szentes.
“Europe hasn’t been subject to such serious security challenges since World War II and a unified and determined response must be provided to them,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó at the GLOBSEC conference in Bratislava.
In response to the European Union's proposal, a concept that the government of Hungary considers seriously flawed, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has presented a ten-point action plan for the management of the migration crisis.
In an interview with the Polish daily Rzeczpospolita, Hungary’s Minister of Justice László Trócsányi said that the European Union should not intervene in the internal affairs of member states but should exercise only those powers that are within its competence.
Following a meeting with Hungary's Minister of Justice László Trócsányi in Krakow, April 8, Poland’s Minister of Justice and Prosecutor General Zbigniew Ziobro announced that Poland will back the lawsuit filed last December by Hungary at the European Court of Justice against the EU's mandatory migrant resettlement quota.
After a Committee meeting of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said that repaying the IMF-EU loan is an unprecedented achievement, which could not have been accomplished without friends like the OECD.
Due to the increased number of illegal border violations in the last few days, in response to a request from the Ministry of the Interior, the Hungarian Defence Forces (HDF) have started the further physical reinforcement of the temporary border barrier in certain sectors along the Hungarian–Serbian border. In order to finish the work as soon as possible, more HDF units were deployed into the area at the weekend.
Hungary is in dispute with the European Commission in some ten cases regarding the EU grant disbursements during the period between 2007-2013. However, in four cases Hungary disagrees with the Commission, and these will therefore be taken to the European Court as expected, the minister of state in the prime minister’s office said.
“Europe is facing extremely serious security challenges and isolating ourselves is not a good solution at such times; both the European Union and NATO must be open to new alliances and partnerships”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said in Budapest following negotiations with his Georgian counterpart.
Over the past few years, Hungary has been subject to its fair share of double standards from the European Union. Having been wrongly accused of curtailing the freedom of the press, undermining checks and balances and the rule of law, the Orbán government, although cleared on all charges, was labeled the EU’s “black sheep”. A familiar narrative has emerged in Poland.
“The relationship between Hungary and Poland is one of the cornerstones of Hungarian foreign relations; the friendship between the Hungarian and Polish people is a special relationship spanning many periods of history”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said on Friday in Budapest at the Hungarian-Polish Business Forum.
According to Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó, German Minister of Justice Heiko Maas made a “harsh and false attack” against Hungary in an interview published in Saturday’s edition of German news magazine Der Spiegel.
“The compulsory resettlement quota would change Europe’s social, cultural ethnic and religious make-up; a decision on such a serious issue cannot be made without asking the people”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó told Hungarian news agency MTI on Wednesday.
On Friday, Government Spokesperson Zoltán Kovács told Hungarian television channel M1 that it is both in the best interests of the EU and Hungary to make a deal with Turkey, but the conditions on which the agreement is reached are of importance.
At the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s business year-opening event, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán announced that the Government is introducing a new decision-making mechanism for EU calls for proposals. The Prime Minister also said that warding off the threat of migration may result in an enormous competitive advantage.
Hungary would primarily allocate funds towards the defence efforts of the Balkan countries against illegal migration. At the same time, Hungary is not opposed to Turkey being given a significant financial grant, the Minister heading the Prime Minister’s Office said at his press conference held on Thursday in Budapest.
The times are over when one can travel on the Western Balkan routes without controls. EU leaders have decided that the routes of people smugglers must be closed, which means that order must also be restored at the borders, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán told journalists in Brussels after the summit of the leaders of the European Union and Turkey in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
“Frontiers must be closed down,” Prime Minister Viktor Orbán had said at the beginning of the day, “in other words: the legal framework has to be restored. The Schengen agreement must be kept word-by-word, so no one can come through without registration and permission.”
On Monday Government Spokesperson Zoltán Kovács told Hungarian television channel M1 in its morning show that the number one task in the migration crisis should have been to stop migration flows at the borders, and this will be on the agenda of Monday’s EU-Turkey summit.
Ahead of the EU-Turkey summit in Brussels on Monday, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said that the external borders of the European Union must be closed and the direct resettlement of migrants is out of question – at least in the case of Hungary.
“As I see today,” Prime Minister Orbán said, “there are so many problems – and you know it too, that problems don’t just mean trouble, they mean an opportunity as well – within the European Union that many countries have taken up with or are taking up with the idea of creating a deeper form of integration after the common currency. And that puts us, every country, which is not a part of the Eurozone, up to a challenge.”
“The number of migrants arriving in Hungary is increasing despite the greatest possible protective measures”, Government Spokesperson Zoltán Kovács said on M1 Hungarian Television’s Thursday evening current affairs program
Greece is intervening in the lawsuit which Hungary instituted against the mandatory settlement quotas; Greece’s intervention is “anti-Hungary”, János Lázár, the Minister heading the Prime Minister’s Office said at the press conference „Governmentinfo 41 – What does the Government do and why?” which he held jointly with Government Spokesperson Zoltán Kovács.
On 2 March, a daylong conference entitled “Migration – Conflict or Cooperation?” was organized in Stefánia Palace, Budapest by the Scientific Research Centre of the General Staff of the Hungarian Defence Forces and the Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade. The patron of the conference is Minister of Defence Dr. István Simicskó.
The policy of reducing state debt is essential for bolstering economic growth, continuing job creation and the improvement of families’ positions, Minister for National Economy Mihály Varga said at a conference on state debt, organized by Hungarian think-tank Századvég in Budapest. Since 2010, Hungary has achieved the largest reduction of state debt, 8.2 percent, and we are the only country with an intact downward trend concerning the general government debt-to-GDP ratio.
“Hungary is showing by far the most solidarity with Germany in view of the fact that no illegal immigrants are arriving in Germany via its territory”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó told Hungarian news agency MTI following several meetings in Stuttgart.
European leaders gathered in Brussels earlier this month for a European Council meeting on Britain’s proposed reform plans and again on the migration crisis. Though often heated and sometimes personal, the debate took Europe closer to the solution that Hungary and others have been proposing for months on migration: restore order at Europe’s borders before anything else.
“More and more countries are recognising the fact that Hungary’s is the only viable solution to the issue of illegal immigration”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó told Hungarian news agency MTI on Wednesday.
In order to decrease its dependence on imported energy, Hungary aims to diversify its energy imports and increase the share of energy generated domestically. Nuclear energy presents an indispensable option to generate cheap energy, and the project to sustain capacity at the Paks Nuclear Power Plant will ensure that Hungary’s dependence on imported natural gas will not increase in the future.
As long as people are entering Europe in an uncontrolled manner, we must primarily focus on the protection of the external EU borders, Minister of Human Capacities Zoltán Balog stated on the political debate programme Im Zentrum of the Austrian television channel ORF2 late on Sunday night. He added that the protection of the borders guarantees the right to freedom and security in Europe.
Parallel to the Greek sovereign debt crisis, another debt crisis has threatened the EU. The Swiss National Bank’s decision in January 2015 to abandon the exchange-rate cap against the euro, sending shock waves through several central European countries. Following the decision, the value of the Swiss franc jumped, trading on average at a rate 20 percent higher against central European currencies. The dramatic increase shook the mortgage markets, touching hundreds of thousands of families in the region.
Clearly, the debate about migration and strengthening Europe’s external borders has taken a turn. Following renewed fighting around the city of Aleppo, nearly 600,000 Syrian migrants are reportedly bound for Europe, compelling Austria and Germany to change their positions on the question of border protection.
In Government Spokesman Zoltán Kovacs's opinion, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzo is politically blackmailing both Hungary and the V4. According to news reports he stated that EU subsidies should be reduced for the offending countries if they do not accept the mandatory resettlement quotas.
That Hungary and Russia have managed to improve relations, particularly in the current international climate, is first and foremost “rooted in the sense of responsibility” and marks “a true miracle,” said Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán yesterday following his annual meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Today, leaders of member states of the European Union gather for another summit of the European Council. This time, it’s to grapple with responses to the migration crisis as well as the British reform proposals for the European Union.
“All of the solution strategies included in the text awaiting adoption at the EU summit on Thursday-Friday must state as their final target that the primary goal of all measures is to slow and eventually stop the process of migration”, Szabolcs Takács told reporters following a meeting of EU Affairs Ministers in Brussels on Tuesday.
At a press conference following a special summit of Visegrád Four (V4) prime ministers in Prague, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said that the policy the European Union has so far pursued in handling the migration crisis has failed, the external Schengen borders could not be protected, and therefore a new, second line of defence is needed.
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has said that while we are facing a threat from Brussels of “forced resettlement quotas”, the threat from the South is a significant increase in migration pressure this year.
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán issued a statement following his meeting with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov in Sofia on January 29, 2016. His statement focussed on the positive relationship Hungary has with Bulgaria, Bulgaria’s active role in protecting the Schengen Zone, the unfair treatment Bulgaria gets from the EU, and the migrant crisis.
Europe has two types of countries, said Prime Minister Orbán during the joint press availability following his meeting in Ljubljana, January 22, with Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar. There are "ones which defend Schengen with words, and others which do so with actions. We both fall into the second category." nyomtatás Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s statement after the Slovenian-Hungarian government summit 22 January 2016 22 January 2016, Ljubljana
Hungary pursues "a migration policy which of course grants political refugees all the possibilities afforded by international law," the prime minister said, "but which does not allow anyone else in.” In his Friday interview on state radio, January 22, the prime minister talked about migration, the taxi versus Uber conflict, and the new family housing allowance program.
The European Commission’s notification regarding the investigation of the Paks II project regarding possible state aid has been released. The Hungarian Government takes the view that the summary contains a number of inaccuracies and misunderstandings as well as unfounded and misleading claims.
“We have lost that which made the European continent attractive," said the prime minister in this interview with a Swiss weekly, "and that which we Hungarians found so attractive in it: free political debate. Political correctness has turned the EU into some kind of royal court, where everyone must behave themselves, while all the time migration is an urgent challenge for us."