The Government Will Not Compromise the Security of Hungarians
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”.
He added that at the same time, being based on unexpected attacks against weak targets, guerilla warfare has recently caused increasingly serious problems in the international security environment. The terrorist organization that calls itself “Islamic State” is also killing unprotected and innocent civilians. The Minister went on explaining that it is hard to defend ourselves against this kind of tactics, and so the fight against terrorism presents us with a great challenge.
Referring to an amendment to the constitution concerning the introduction of a state of emergency in the event of terrorist attacks, István Simicskó said that the ongoing debates are focusing on the question as to whom the right of decision should be given if Hungary came under a terrorist attack.
He underlined that terrorists carry out their attacks out of the blue, so in order to be able to counter them, one must make prompt decisions and implement them as quickly as possible. For this reason, it would be desirable that the government could take the necessary measures and if the need arises, Hungarian troops could be deployed against terrorists inside Hungary as well. By way of example, The Minister mentioned the French, the Danes, the British and the Americans as examples of nations that can do so too, and emphasized that nobody can seriously think that these days the Hungarian government would introduce a “dictatorship” and take action against its own citizens.
There is no such thing as one hundred per cent security, but “let us do as much as we can”, the Minister said, noting that “it would be sad if Hungarian politics sank to such depths” that it would put the security of Hungarians at risk.
Speaking about illegal migration, István Simicskó noted that conflicts in the Middle East are not a recent development, as the region has seen a lot of them over the last 25 years. Thus, the reason why Europe has just now been placed under such a pressure must be the subject of an investigation.
Tibor Pogácsás, State Secretary for Local Governments at the Ministry of Interior (MoI) also raised this issue. In his opinion, Europe has become unprotected as a result of becoming a target of mass migration. He explained that the European Union does not have an effective border defence system, and that is why the government decided to reinforce the defence of Hungary’s borders by constructing a security barrier, introducing tough legislation and maintaining the presence of policemen and soldiers.
In his presentation, the State Secretary also said that as a priority, the MoI and the Hungarian police are cooperating with international partner organizations in order to identify the organized crime groups behind illegal migration.
Furthermore, he added that there is agreement that the long-term solution lies in eliminating the cause of migration, but until then the defence of Hungary’s borders is “a matter of vital importance”.
The State Secretary pointed out that criminals and “adventurers” cannot be screened out amidst a wave of unbridled and uncontrolled migration. At the same time, he stated that Hungary has not closed its borders, since anybody can apply for asylum at the border crossing points under a proper legal procedure.
The speakers of the forum held in the NUPS also talked about the ethnic and religious dimensions of the refugee issue as well as the opinions and measures taken by state actors and religious communities.
In his opening speech, University Rector András Patyi said that one could not find any other topic that is timelier than that of illegal mass migration. He underlined that the NUPS is not involved in this topic solely from a scientific point of view, as the students of the Faculty of Military Science were assigned security tasks at the barrier along the southern border, and participated in handling the migration crisis in Hungary.
Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for Evangelization of Peoples – an institution of the Vatican – talked about the three factors that created unity in a multifarious Europe, namely religion, human rights and the arts. Modern and postmodern European societies, however, are increasingly losing these roots and seeking a new identity, but it is questionable whether they will be able to preserve the unity of Europe in this way.
Speaking about his experiences in the Middle East, the cardinal said that the promise of a free West has become practically irresistible for the people living there. The attraction of European societies lies in the fact that they are based on the principle of liberty, fraternity and equality, and the separation of religion and politics has already taken place in them.
In the second half of his presentation, Fernando Filoni spoke about the Chaldean Catholic Church of Iraq. On the one hand, this community has always lived as a minority, and like all such communities, it very strongly sticks to its own values and culture. On the other hand, many of its members have become Confessors of the Faith and martyrs. He added that this is a heroic church, which has survived everything throughout 21 centuries and has not given up itself or its faith.
The event, held in conjunction with a students’ forum organized in cooperation with the Catholic Charity (Caritas Hungarica), was attended, among others, by Archbishop of Esztergom–Budapest Cardinal Péter Erdő, Chief of Defence Gen. Dr. Tibor Benkő, Commander of the HDF Joint Force Command Maj.-Gen. Sándor Fucsku, former Prime Minister Péter Boross and Military Ordinary Bishop László Bíró.