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Mar 07, 2016

Borders Must be Closed and Direct Resettlement is out of the Question

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.

Arriving at the summit, Mr. Orbán pointed out that “the rule of law must be restored and the Schengen Agreement must be applied word-for-word to prevent people from entering Europe without permission and registration”.

Mr. Orbán reiterated that “the direct resettlement of migrants from Turkey to Europe – or at least to Hungary – is out of question”, adding that there is “no chance of the Government of Hungary making concessions in this regard”. He added that “the Government considers the resettlement of migrants to Europe to be a mistake”.

“If we were to accept migrants directly from Greece or Turkey, this would simply add fuel to the fire: migrants would see it as an invitation, and as a result even more would come”. Mr. Orbán also warned that no action must be taken without closing the borders.  

The main agenda item at the EU-Turkey summit will be implementation of the agreement made between the Government of Turkey and the EU heads of state in November on curbing the migration wave.

In accordance with the action plan, Ankara has committed to strengthening its border measures, acting against people smugglers and taking back migrants expelled from the EU. In exchange, the European Union and its Member States will contribute EUR 3 billion in assistance to Turkey, in order to help it take care of migrants on its territory.