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Jun 27, 2018

Hungary refuses to reach a compromise on mandatory migrant quotas, says state secretary

"Hungary has no legal or political obligation to become an immigrant country,” Szabolcs Takács said

Hungary refuses to reach a compromise on mandatory migrant quotas, the state secretary for European Union affairs has announced.

Following a meeting of EU ministers focusing on migration and the next EU budget in Luxembourg, Szabolcs Takács said we will not accept a compromise that involves any form of mandatory distribution of migrants or asylum seekers. "Hungary has no legal or political obligation to become an immigrant country,” he said.

The state secretary added that during the Austrian presidency of the EU starting on July 1st, the Hungarian government wants to persuade member countries that the focus should be shifted from mandatory distribution to protecting the external borders of the EU.

“It is not easy to convince them, and we can see that the issue of secondary migration has resulted in domestic political troubles in certain countries. We do not expect a compromise at the EU summit this week, either," he said.

"In order to reach an agreement, it is necessary for all member countries to accept the fact that distribution is not working and the EU must follow migration policies that focus on border protection,” he added.

Takács said there are also many issues left open regarding the EU budget, and it is uncertain when a compromise could be achieved. The draft prepared by the European Commission basically supports migration, he added.

According to MTI, Hungary wants the budget to include support for the protection of external EU borders, to ensure that border protection can be financed not only from national budgets but also EU funds.

“After Brexit, certain member countries do not plan to contribute to the budget anymore, so even its size is still uncertain,” Takács said.

He added that the meeting was successful from the point of EU expansion in the Western Balkans. After a long debate, an agreement was achieved to start accession talks with Macedonia in June 2019 and with Albania six months later, he added.