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Feb 20, 2018

PM Orbán: The EU has a new proposal on migration which is still focused on the mandatory relocation of migrants across the bloc

PM Orbán said the number of migrants to be taken in by member states under a mandatory resettlement scheme keeps growing. Under the most recent proposal, Hungary would have to take in 10,000 people a year rather than the 1,000 that was to be allocated to the country originally

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has said the EU has a new proposal on migration that is against Hungary’s interests because it is still focused on the mandatory relocation of migrants across the bloc.

The prime minister made the remarks following talks with Boyko Borisov, his Bulgarian counterpart, in Sofia on Monday.

PM Orbán said the number of migrants to be taken in by member states under a mandatory resettlement scheme keeps growing. Under the most recent proposal, Hungary would have to take in 10,000 people a year rather than the 1,000 that was to be allocated to the country originally.

The prime minister added that it looked like the EU was proposing a resettlement quota scheme without an upper limit. PM Orbán insisted that the debate around mandatory quotas encourages migration, adding that migration poses a threat to Europe’s public safety, welfare and Christian culture.

PM Orbán said Hungary has prepared its own proposal that is focused on the protection of the EU’s external borders rather than the distribution of migrants. There is no point in talking about the distribution of migrants until the EU can guarantee the protection of its borders, he added.

He said Hungary’s constitution makes it clear that only elected and authorized individuals or organizations can decide who can reside and live in Hungary.

PM Orbán said Europe should demonstrate solidarity not by distributing migrants across the bloc but by protecting the external borders. He said Hungary’s proposal requires all member states to fulfill their obligations to protect their borders. If a country is incapable of or unwilling to fulfill this obligation, the Schengen area’s “line of defense” should be “moved back by one country”; to one that is willing and able to keep migrants out.

Hungary’s position on the issue of migration has not changed, the prime minister said. The situation is tough in many parts of the world, but Hungary believes that those in need of help should receive support in or around their homelands rather than “bringing trouble over here,” the prime minister said.