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Dec 04, 2020

EC migration plan 'shocking' given that it coincides with battle against pandemic and budget talks

Gergely Gulyás noted that the European Commission published a migration action plan last week, which he described as “shocking”, given that it coincided with the battle against pandemic and budget talks.

 

Gergely Gulyás, Head of the Prime Minister's Office, noted that the European Commission published a migration action plan last week, which he described as “shocking”, given that it coincided with the battle against pandemic and budget talks.

The minister said the document views migration as an unavoidable and permanent phenomenon. In the meantime, he said, the commissioner in charge had raised the prospect of granting 34 million people voting rights and accommodation.

According to MTI, Gulyás said countries that saw migration as a threat to their quality of life and not as a solution to demographic challenges were bound to object to EU funding being linked to the rule of law. If Hungary “doesn’t persevere” in the debate over rule-of-law conditionality, it would lose all its means to thwart the EU’s pro-migration plans, he said. The rule of law is “a codename for the left wing’s attempt to keep anti-migration countries in check,” Gulyás said, adding that the Hungarian government was fully committed to the course it had taken, and saw no possibility for compromise on the issue of migration. Hungary and Poland reject the introduction of legal categories into the budget that have “never been described precisely,” he added.

When asked if PM Orbán would back the EU’s budget and recovery fund next week, Gulyás said that the government considered the proposal to be “unacceptable” in its current form. All member states have a right to exercise their veto power, he said, adding that negotiations should continue until EU leaders find a solution that works for all countries. Hungary is open to further talks, Gulyás said, adding that “we believe a solution can be found”.

The minister said Hungary would not be losing out on any EU funding if the recovery package were not approved. He noted that the 1,800 billion euro package included the 1,050 billion euro seven-year budget and the 750 billion euro Next Generation EU recovery fund. The latter, he noted, would be financed from a joint loan. Hungary in the end approved a method of crisis management that it fundamentally disagreed with only out of solidarity with the southern EU member states that are in bigger financial trouble, Gulyás said.

Hungary will announce all EU tenders for the next funding cycle from Jan. 1, even without an agreement on the next budget, Gulyás said. “This is not what we want or what we’re preparing for, but if there are meaningful talks then we’re prepared to reach an agreement,” he added.

Photo credit: Mandiner