PM Orbán: We can only support EU leaders who respect Central Europe
No politician should be nominated to embody Europe’s unity who has previously participated in an affront against any member stateRead more
EP elections are now taking place all over Europe. Two days before Hungarians go to the polls and cast their votes, we must be clear about what’s really at stake in these elections. Europe is not simply electing members of the European Parliament. It’s choosing its future.
“Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s working visit to Washington on May 13th, during which he will be received by U.S. President Donald Trump, will be extremely significant,” Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said at a recent press conference in Brussels.
PM Orbán said political thought about migration has been split into two distinct directions: the West is looking at ways to "live together", Central Europe is looking at what to do in order to avoid being forced to live together with migrants
"Prime Minister Viktor Orbán deserves thanks for the responsible manner in which the country defended the European borders at the peak of the migration crisis," Austrian Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache said
In a joint press conference with Austrian Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said that he’d like to see the same changes in Europe that have occurred in Austria, where the government of Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and his ruling Austrian People’s Party thrive in cooperation with the patriotic Freedom Party.
Prime Minister Orbán is due to meet Austrian Freedom Party Chairman Heinz-Christian Strache this afternoon in Budapest. Prior to the meeting, the PM discussed Hungary-Austria relations, liberalism, European politics and migration in an exclusive interview with Austrian daily Kleine Zeitung. Here are some of the highlights:
Am Freitag veröffentlichte The Guardian einen Artikel, in dem behauptet wird, dass die ungarische Regierung den Asylbewerbern Nahrungsmittel vorenthält und es zudem beinahe unmöglich macht, die Anforderungen für die Unterbringung in der Transitzone zu erfüllen, da „jeder, der aus einem sicheren Land nach Ungarn gekommen war, für ein Asyl automatisch nicht in Frage kam. Die meisten Menschen kommen aus Serbien, was als sicher gilt.“
In his Friday morning interview on Kossuth radio, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán touched upon yesterday’s visit of Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Matteo Salvini, the Eastern Opening policy and the upcoming meeting with US President Donald Trump later this month.
“We need to elect leaders who will not allow settlings in Europe and will prevent Europe from becoming a continent of migrants. Pro-migration politicians must be voted out and anti-migration politicians must be brought to Brussels," the prime minister said
On the eve of Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini’s visit to Budapest tomorrow, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán sat for an interview with the popular Italian daily La Stampa. In the interview, the prime minister discusses migration, the future of the European People’s Party, nationalism and a perspective on “three Europes”. Here are some highlights:
On Friday, The Guardian published an article claiming that the Hungarian government is withholding food from asylum seekers and moreover making it almost impossible to satisfy the requirements for getting shelter in the transit zone since “anyone who had arrived in Hungary from a safe country was automatically ineligible. Most people arrive from Serbia, which is considered safe."
Hungary’s Chief Security Advisor has highlighted that the European Union’s move to bolster the staff of border agency Frontex to 10,000 will not be enough to protect the bloc’s borders from a massive inflow of migrants
Minister Szijjártó said the world must also create the conditions for persecuted communities to remain in their homelands, adding that troubled regions should receive technological assistance and the world must help stabilise countries around warzones
At the end of February, in its response to the Hungarian Government’s information campaign, the European Commission admitted that it “funds a program run by the UNHCR for prepaid debit cards for refugees and asylum seekers”.
The March 22nd cover of the Slovenian leftist weekly Mladina shows a caricature of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán raising a Nazi salute, surrounded by SDS leader Janez Janša and other figures associated with Slovenia’s conservative, right-wing party.
Ministerpräsident Viktor Orbán schloss sich am Wochenende im Rahmen der Veranstaltung „Budapest Summit on Migration“ der Meinung anderer prominenter politischer Persönlichkeiten an, einschließlich des ehemaligen französischen Präsidenten Nicolas Sarkozy, und meinte, die Zuständigkeit für Migration und Grenzschutz sollte den EU-Mitgliedstaaten zurückgegeben, und an einen unabhängigen Rat der EU-Innenminister delegiert werden.
Drawing on the remarks of other prominent political figures at this weekend’s Budapest Summit on Migration, including former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán concluded that migration and border protection competences should be returned to the EU’s member states and delegated to an independent council comprised of EU interior ministers.
Péter Szijjártó said a “secret document” has been published on work by the European Commission’s legal service to formulate “lengthy and devious” legal grounds for suggesting that the compact is, after all, mandatory for EU member states
On Monday Gergely Gulyás, Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office, told Hungarian news agency MTI that Fidesz wants a strong, united Christian democratic European People’s Party (EPP) which rejects immigration. He said that Fidesz wants to remain a member of the party family for as long as possible, and also stressed that Fidesz has always avoided personal attacks on other members of the party family it belongs to.
An official European Commission document concludes that Brussels should adopt the text of the UN Global Compact for Migration. Once it does, EU member states would be obliged to comply. Never mind that nine out of the EU-28 oppose the GCM.
Brussels eurocrats believe that migration is a positive phenomenon and something that should be facilitated. The Hungarian government, however, sees migration in a completely different light: mass immigration destabilizes, poses serious risks to our European Christian civilization, and should be stopped.
The prime minister has called for setting up a new European council of ministers of interior to take responsibility for migration and Schengen Area issues, a strong body that would handle these matters as experts, rather than politicians.
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has been saying so for months. It’s so important, in fact, says the PM, that it’s shaking up the traditional left-right alignment of politics and creating a contest between those who support immigration and those who oppose it.
The foreign minister has said that citizens of the European Union have the right to know “what secret plans the European Commission is making behind their backs to further undermine the continent’s security”
In an essay published yesterday on the official Élysée website, President Macron calls “For European Renewal with a program based on freedom, protection and progress. “We should ban,” the president writes, “the funding of European political parties by foreign powers.” We need to protect our democracies against foreign powers seeking to manipulate them.
Zoltán Kovács said the EU should remain a forum of cooperation between equal member states. In cases where there is no complete agreement between them, there should be no compulsion to accept a given policy
Interior ministry state secretary, Károly Kontrát told a session of parliament’s defense and law enforcement committee that the Balkan route is still active, with 70,000 migrants making their way to Europe through it
Following talks with Carmelo Abela, his Maltese counterpart, Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said the two countries had agreed that decisions on services provided for migrants should be left in the hands of member states
Have you noticed how the bureaucrats in Brussels talk about “border management” instead of saying “border protection” or “border defense”? It’s not a coincidence. It betrays a fundamental difference in how we approach migration. For those in the pro-migration lobby, immigration is a positive outcome and national borders are the obstacles.
“Pro-migration politicians are continuing to run amok,” the foreign minister said. "Every EU document will try to refer to the UN’s global migration compact in spite of the fact that nine EU member states did not vote for it," he added
Following talks with Osman Saleh Mohammed, the foreign minister of Eritrea, Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said that Africa needed peace, security and economic development in order to retain its population
The EU should “prevent thousands of migrants from risking their lives at the Mediterranean Sea; it should make it clear that they cannot enter the continent illegally and it must eliminate the human smuggling rings,” MEP Kinga Gál said
“The make-up of the European Parliament will change,” Zoltán Kovács declared, adding that he hopes an anti-immigration majority is established that will help preserve Europe’s original identity and culture
According to a poll conducted by the Hungarian Nézőpont Institute, some 35 million of the 53 million citizens in the Visegrad Group reject the EU’s quota system to resettle migrants in member states, and 41 million are dissatisfied with EU migration policy
The Hungarian government commissioned the van with a billboard to drive around Brussels highlighting the consequences of the EU‘s migration policies, which led to several hundred people dying in terrorist attacks throughout Europe
Péter Szijjártó, Minister Of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said the UN compact would cause even greater problems than the EU quotas because the latter only applied to Europe but the former would create disorder around the world
Zsolt Németh held talks with his Bulgarian counterpart Dzhema Marinova Grozdanova on Tuesday where it was determined that Bulgaria and Hungary share the same views on Europe, security policy, migration policy, European Union enlargement as well as a number of socio-political issues
The government of Hungary will not leave unanswered the offense committed against Hungary in the Sargentini Report. We would like to make clear before the general, European public that we do not want to become an immigrant country. That’s why the government has released this English-language internet video in response to the affronts to our country.
As the European Parliament prepares to debate next week a report on the state of rule of law in Hungary, a new charge against the Hungarian government has delivered a noisy and convenient distraction from the underwhelming substance of the so-called Sargentini report.
Pál Völner said the Hungarian government continued to insist that Hungary would not become a country “flooded” by migrants. He insisted that “the forces of immigration” were determined to intervene in Hungary’s domestic affairs
István Hollik, the spokesman of ruling Fidesz-KDNP’s parliamentary group said the [Hungarian] Helsinki Committee holds pro-migration sensitization trainings clearly designed to sensitize court employees by representing the viewpoint of migrants and their interests
Gergely Gulyás, the minister heading the Prime Minister’s Office, said that after the submission and agreement of the new legislative package, the organization of illegal immigration will be a criminal law scenario in the Penal code
Antal Rogán, the minister heading the Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister, said the reshuffle comes amid the government responding to the challenges of migration and the need to protect Hungary’s national sovereignty
The minister of state for Government Communication said the aim of the Brussels report is to place pressure on Hungary and to achieve the downfall of the government and replace it with a “pro-immigration cabinet that is acceptable to Brussels”
Bence Tuzson, minister of state for Government Communication, said the draft bill will be put before parliament in late February and the goal of the legislative package is to “enact and enforce the overwhelming opinion of the people, and to take further steps to stop migration”
Péter Szijjártó, minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said the government has instructed him to review the first draft of the package, to be published on February 5th, and start the procedure to quit the talks if the document is “as pro-migration” as the 2016 declaration
The Chief Security Advisor to the Prime Minister has highlighted how the UN’s draft directive on migration is chillingly reminiscent of the European Union’s plans, against which the Hungarian government is also fighting
"Our decisions on immigration policies must always be made by Americans and Americans alone," the US ambassador to the UN said. "We will decide how best to control our borders and who will be allowed to enter our country"
The Hungarian government has decided to launch a nationwide survey on migration to guarantee solid support for the government’s related policies, and so that they can understand the people's stance on the issue
During a historic visit – the first of a head of government of Israel in 30 years – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked Prime Minister Viktor Orbán for “standing up for Israel in international forums,” and the Hungarian prime minister delivered a sharp rebuke of the failure of Hungary to defend its Jewish citizens during World War II, saying the country had sinned.
“European publics are quite critical of the EU’s handling of refugee issues,” according to the Pew Research Center’s recent public opinion study. “And they want their national governments to be the ones making decisions about the migration of non-EU citizens into their countries”
Tamás Deutsch said that it had become apparent from a speech where Soros compared Hungary to a mafia state that he was ready to take any anti-democratic step to ensure the Hungarian government’s defeat
Laws cannot be suspended, but this does not mean that there is no solution. The parties must engage in talks, and the prime minister has appointed Kristóf Altusz to lead the negotiations, Hungary's government spokesperson said
The Hungarian government expects political conflicts in connection with the second line of defense and Hungary’s new regulations because certain NGOs promote a political agenda at odds with protecting Europe
As citizens prepare for the third Sunday of Advent, heads of the EU member states once again gather in Brussels to discuss the pressing migration crisis. The differences will resemble the struggle of David against Goliath, said Prime Minister Orbán in his radio interview last week, and in the role of David stand the Visegrád Four countries, including Hungary.
The Hungarian government did not construct a fence on the border out of EU monies “and especially not with Italian money”; we financed the fence from the budget, or “to make it more understandable for Matteo Renzi”, the people of Hungary are spending their own money on protecting the EU border, Hungary's foreign minister said
Hungary’s stance on immigration has been labeled one of the “destroyers of Europe”, however these sentiments couldn’t be further from the truth. Hungary’s border policy does in fact protect European freedom.
The Hungarian government has said that the animals can adapt well to man-made habitat changes. The statement also noted that deer populations had been growing for decades in Hungary and across Europe, causing crop damage and road accidents
A new unity has come about in Hungary; the people have clearly stated what they want and it is the government’s duty to try and enforce their will, “and I will do everything possible to ensure that we can enforce that will, and I believe we have a chance of success," the PM said
Europol said migrant trafficking generated estimated revenue of more than 5 billion euros in 2015. More than 12,000 new migrant-smuggling suspects have also been identified since the start of the year
It was a Tuesday, that October 23rd in 1956. The whole thing began as a peaceful, student demonstration, young people with a manifesto asserting the right to be independent from all foreign powers and that all Hungarians should enjoy the rights of free people in a democratic system. The crowds grew as the demonstrations moved throughout the city. By nightfall, State Security Police had fired on a crowd of unarmed demonstrators outside the state radio building, killing many.
The credit line will form a base in which certain criteria is adhered to for development projects to be carried out with the inclusion of Hungarian firms. Afghanistan must also fulfill obligations undertaken in controlling migration
The results of today’s referendum will not be clear until after the polls close at 7 p.m., but if past experience is any indicator, Hungary’s experience with voting in important referendums has been mixed.
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?”
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"
PM Orbán decided to establish the new department after meeting with Pope Francis and Middle Eastern patriarchs in Rome at the end of August, and the government has kicked the department off with a 3 million Euro grant
Ungarn ist das einzige Land in der Europäischen Union, das seinen Bürgern mit einer nationalen Volksabstimmung am 2. Oktober ermöglicht, über eines der derzeit wichtigsten Themen abzustimmen: die Massenmigration, die Europa destabilisiert, und insbesondere den Versuch der EU, Zwangsansiedlungen von Migranten anzuordnen.
With the national referendum slated for October 2nd, Hungary is the only country in the European Union that is giving citizens the opportunity to vote on one of the most significant issues of the day: the mass migration challenging the stability of Europe and, specifically, the EU’s attempt to impose compulsory resettlement of migrants.
Der Termin steht fest: Am 2. Oktober 2016 wird in Ungarn eine Volksabstimmung über das verpflichtende EU-Quotensystem zur Ansiedlung von Migranten stattfinden. Dass das Datum nur einige Tage nach dem Brexit bekanntgegeben wurde, hat zu Mutmaßungen geführt, das ungarische Referendum handle ebenfalls vom Austritt aus der EU. Natürlich war das aus dem Munde mancher Kritiker eine absichtliche Verwechslung aus politischen Gründen.
The date is set: on October 2nd, 2016, Hungary will hold a referendum on the EU’s mandatory migrant resettlement quota system. The announcement of the date of the referendum, coming as it did just a few days following Brexit led some to suggest that the Hungarian vote will be another plebiscite on leaving the EU. Some critics, of course, deliberately confused the two for political reasons.
The police and the Hungarian Defense Force have taken great efforts to prepare for the introduction of the new border protection system, which guarantees the security of the Hungarian people and the protection of external borders
Seit mehr als eineinhalb Jahren ist Europa einem gewaltigen Migrationsstrom ausgesetzt. Ministerpräsident Viktor Orbán war einer der ersten Regierungschefs des Kontinents, der Aufmerksamkeit auf das wachsende Problem lenkte, als er letztes Jahr ehrlich über dessen faktischen Herausforderungen zu sprechen begann.
For more than a year and a half, Europe has been confronting a dramatic surge in migration. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán was among the first leaders on the continent to call attention to the growing problem when he began speaking frankly early last year about the practical challenges it would pose.
Following his meeting with the “Sunni Pope,” Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán talked about Europe’s catastrophic interventions in the Islamic world, the need for a stable Egypt and a re-stabilized Libya in his regular radio interview this week. He also touched upon the Brexit referendum and the dangers of the evolving democratic deficit in today’s European Union.
Nach seinem Treffen mit dem „sunnitischen Papst“ sprach der ungarische Ministerpräsident Viktor Orbán diese Woche in seinem regelmäßigen Radio-Interview über Europas katastrophale Interventionen in der islamischen Welt sowie über die Notwendigkeit eines stabilen Ägyptens und der erneuten Stabilisierung Libyens. Er sprach auch vom Brexit-Referendum und den Gefahren des wachsenden demokratischen Defizits in der derzeitigen Europäischen Union.
“The conclusions of Monday’s meeting of the European Union’s Foreign Affairs Council include every single Hungarian proposal,” Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said following the meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels.
Hungary’s top court ruled this week in favor of the government’s plan for a referendum on the European Union’s mandatory migrant resettlement quotas. With the court’s decision, the last legal obstacle in Hungary has been removed
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.
“When I visit southern Germany, I always find time to visit Mr. Chancellor [Kohl],” said Prime Minister Viktor Orbán about his latest meeting with former Chancellor Helmut Kohl, adding that they discussed the future of Europe and bilateral relations between Germany and Hungary. Today, in his regular biweekly radio interview, the prime minister had several interesting things to say about both. A few things that may surprise you.
In a joint statement released after visiting the former German chancellor at his home in Germany on Tuesday, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and former Chancellor Helmut Kohl stated that Europe cannot be a new home to the millions of people in need around the world.
“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.
“The acts of terrorism in Paris and Brussels clearly prove that terrorists have exploited the mass migration targeting the continent”, Minister of Defence István Simicskó stated on Friday, April 15 at the leading foreign policy and security forum in Central Europe, the Globsec 2016 conference held in Bratislava, Slovakia.
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 connection with talks on the anti-terrorism action plan, Antal Rogán, head of the cabinet office of the prime minister, explained that he has asked opposition parties not to underestimate the extent of the terrorist threat.
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.
At a press briefing held after multi-party talks in Budapest on Friday 8 April, the minister of defense stated that the parliamentary parties have agreed on the need to amend the Fundamental Law of Hungary in relation to counter-terrorism measures.
In his regular, radio interview on Friday morning, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said that, on the EU’s quota system, “it cannot be the case that one member state alone makes a decision and the others suffer the consequences.” He also spoke about the symbolic significance of paying off the loan and that Hungary has good reason to celebrate this weekend.
A fan’s tribute to Prime Minister Orbán’s March 15 speech has enjoyed remarkable success on Youtube. After the user posted the speech with subtitles in English and called attention to some of the very direct language in the prime minister’s address, the video post garnered more than 200 thousand views within the first week of being published. When I last checked yesterday, the video had 6,000 likes, 100 dislikes and over 3,000 overwhelmingly positive comments.
On Wednesday morning, Bakondi György, Chief Security Advisor to the Prime Minister, told public television channel M1 that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has no information on specific terrorist threats to Hungary.
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.
A five-party consultation was held on Friday at the Ministry of Interior regarding the Government’s counter-terrorism action plan which will be debated by the Cabinet on Monday, and in the wake of this debate, there will be another consultation with the parliamentary parties. After the Friday consultation, Government Spokesperson Zoltán Kovács said: there were no fundamental disagreements on professional issues, and an agreement may well be reached.
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has confirmed that the Hungarian government is taking the threat of terrorism seriously, and that it has enacted the necessary measures. In an interview given to the public media in Washington on Friday, the Prime Minister expressed his satisfaction that Hungary is regarded as advanced from a nuclear energy point of view, and that its safety system is deemed to be outstanding.
In February, I posted a few examples of how certain leaders were beginning to sing a distinctly different tune on the growing migration challenge. The title of the post was “Migration and European Borders: That Moment When Other EU Leaders Sound Like Prime Minister Orbán.”
In Budapest on Wednesday, at a conference commemorating the 100th anniversary of Islam’s recognition as a religion in Hungary, Minister of Human Capacities Zoltán Balog said that a dialogue is required with Islam, and it needs partners.
First reactions are often the same: grief, condolences, sympathy, words to remember the victims and to comfort the families. Hungary’s highest representatives, President Áder and Prime Minister Orbán, were among the first European leaders to express their condolences through letters to their Belgian counterparts.
Following Wednesday morning’s meeting of the Operations Unit, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán announced on Hungarian M1 television that “Hungary is maintaining all the current security measures at its borders, or raising them by one level”.
On Tuesday evening György Bakondi, Chief Security Advisor to the Prime Minister, told public television channel M1 that there is no threat of terrorism in Hungary, but in the event of serious incidents, such as the attacks committed in Brussels, the “strands” must be examined; this is why the Government has increased the national terror alert to Level 2.
“The Agreement signed at the EU-Turkey Summit does not provide any guarantees that the quota regulating the distribution of migrants will not become obligatory again in the future”, said Pál Völner, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Justice on 19 March 2016 in the evening programme of television channel M1.
“For the past several days we’ve working on behalf of the Hungarian interest that any kind of refugee exchange, settlement or movement of people would only happen on a voluntary basis. We have a chance to achieve this,” said Prime Minister Viktor Orbán upon his arrival at the EU Council meeting on Thursday. In response to a journalist asking about his prognosis, the prime minister confided, “I always feel good before a summit. Let’s see afterwards.”
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.
Europe must relay a clear message to migrants and the networks of criminals and people smugglers behind them to the effect that a defence line has been set up on the external borders of Europe which cannot just be broken through at a moment’s notice, Szabolcs Takács told journalists on Tuesday.
At a conference of Hungarian local governments, Minister of Interior Sándor Pintér said that Hungary’s borders are safe. Mayors attending the conference organised by the Association of Hungarian Cities with County Rank (MJVSZ) accepted a political statement against mandatory resettlement quotas.
Minister of Interior Sándor Pintér announced last week that Hungary is declaring a nationwide state of emergency due to the increasing volume of mass migration on the Western Balkans route. As a result, reinforcements have been deployed to the borders to provide additional security and be on the lookout for people trying to cross illegally.
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.
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.
I took part in a panel discussion recently about international media coverage of Hungary. The panel was part of an event announcing the release of the latest edition of an analysis published every year by Nézőpont Intézet, a think tank in Budapest.
On Monday, heads of the European Union member states gathered for yet another summit, attempting to reach an agreement on how to respond to the migration crisis that the EU has been struggling with now for more than a year.
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.”
On Kossuth Radio’s “180 Minutes” programme on Friday, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in relation to the European Union’s handling of the immigration crisis that “individual action is better than unified inertia”.
“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.
On Saturday, Chief Security Advisor to the Prime Minister György Bakondi told public television channel M1 that European countries should have applied the restricting measures – which have been recently introduced by Macedonia – against migrants to which they are entitled to in terms of the Schengen regulations from the beginning on in order to protect the external borders.
The number of migrants who seek to cross the Serbian-Hungarian border illegally is on the rise: some 500 attempted to cross the border illegally in January, 650 up to 15 February, and in the last ten days 110 migrants have sought to enter Hungary illegally per day on average, György Bakondi said at his press conference held on Saturday in Budapest.
“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.
“Had Europe accepted the Hungarian solution to the immigration crisis a year ago, this is not where we would be now”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó told Hungarian news agency MTI on Friday.
Péter Szijjártó and the Foreign Minister of the United Arab Emirates agreed that migration pressure on Europe and the migration crisis will not come to an end until peace is established in Syria, the fight against terrorism is successfully won and the European Union ends its policy of keeping its external borders open, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade told Hungarian news agency MTI on the first day of his trip to the Emirates.
Standing fast to the conviction that the European Union’s failed migration policy must be opposed and that Europe, with its common values and common history, must be protected, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, in his annual State of the Nation speech today, said, “Brussels must be stopped.”
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.
The situation in numbers: Between January and October 2015, 1.2 million migrants crossed a European border illegally and more than 391 thousand travelled via the western Balkans route, passing through Hungary. Despite the cold winter, an average of one thousand people are still arriving to Europe every day. Most of them do not have any proper documentation.
“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.
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.
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.
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 thousand 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.
Speaking at a forum held in Budapest on Wednesday, 17 February, the Minister of Defence stated that “the Government will not compromise the security of Hungarians, therefore its aim is to get enough room for maneuvering in the fight against terrorism”.
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.
Following the meeting of the Visegrad Four, Prime Minister Orbán pointed to the need for a "second line of defense" between Turkey and Schengen. In the press statement, he also voiced support for Bulgaria's accession to Schengen.
The Meetings of NATO Defence Ministers took place in Brussels on 10–11 February. Hungary was represented at the event by Deputy Minister Tamás Vargha, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Ministry of Defence. The most important task of the meeting was preparation for the July Summit of Heads of State and Government of NATO member states to be held in Warsaw.
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.
“The migration pressure on Hungary with relation to illegal immigration will increase this year”, Minster of the Prime Minister’s Office János Lázár indicated at a press conference entitled “Government Info 39 – Government actions explained”, which he held jointly with Government Spokesperson Zoltán Kovács.
“It is a fact that one should act cautiously not to [unnecessarily] limit the rights of freedom, but people’s security comes first,” Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said Friday morning during his regular interview with public radio.
The Schengen Area, first established in 1995, has eliminated border controls and allowed the free movement of people and goods in a vast geographic area that now spans 26 countries of Europe. The ongoing crisis of mass migration, however, has threatened to change all of that.
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.
On Tuesday, 12 January, on the initiative of Minister of Defence Dr. István Simicskó, the representatives of parliamentary groups held discussions in the Ministry of Defence about the legislative amendments to be made in the interest of strengthening Hungary’s defence and security and about the tasks of the Hungarian Defence Forces.
In response to a statement by Sweden’s foreign minister, on Sunday Chief Security Advisor to the Prime Minister György Bakondi told public television channel M1 that the Government of Hungary does not see the necessity for reintroduction of military conscription. Keeping the manpower of the reserve force at appropriate levels is important however, he stressed.
In an address given at a Saint Thomas Becket Memorial Day conference in Esztergom on Tuesday, Minister of Interior Sándor Pintér said that what is at stake regarding the planned distribution of migrants across Europe is preservation of national sovereignty and a sense of identity. “Only those may enter Hungary whom we want to enter,” he stressed.