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Jun 29, 2016

PM Orban: EU must get to grips with migrant crisis

PM Orbán said that in his view migration was the decisive issue in last week's British Brexit referendum

The European Union will face more big challenges in the wake of Britain's decision to leave if it fails to get to grips with the migrant crisis, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has said in Brussels.

PM Orbán said that in his view migration was the decisive issue in last week's British referendum.

"The important question is what lessons to draw from what happened, for us Europeans who are still members of the European Union and want to stay in," the prime minister said.

"If the EU cannot solve the migration situation then such challenges as we saw in the case of the United Kingdom will increase."

Hungary has repeatedly accused the EU of weakness in the face of the crisis, calling for tough policies like fortified borders and strict immigration procedures.

Politicians in several other EU countries have proposed referendums of their own on EU membership, largely on the grounds of what they see as a failed immigration policy.

"Plebiscites are raised in more and more places because the European Union is seen as unable to tackle the situation," PM Orbán said. "And it criticizes countries that remedy the situation on their own, instead of honoring and supporting them. That is bad policy."

He said Hungary's forced migration quotas referendum was about winning a political mandate for an impending European debate in which member states will have to thrash out a robust new migration policy.

"Our goal is to stop (migration). Many countries here have a different goal: to let them in, or bring them in, then spread them around... There will be no unified migration policy until we make clear what goals to use Europe's resources for."

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Orbán will continue talks with EU member states on Wednesday regarding the migrant crisis. The prime minister has already held talks with members of the V4 nation states regarding the issue.