Sep 08, 2017

PM Orbán's response to President Jean-Claude Juncker

September 6, 2017

Dear Mr President,

In response to your letter of 5 September 20I7, I would hereby like to inform you about the Hungarian government's position on the issues raised in said letter.

First of all, I am pleased to note that you also recognise Hungary' s efforts in border protection. ln the past two years, Hungary has defended our common borders by mobilising budget resources, by building a protective fence, and by placing thousands of border-hunters into active duty.

I would respectfully like to reiterate my position expressed at the European Council meeting of the heads of state and  government that Hungary should  always behave as a country where there are Schengen borders, but for geographic reasons, migrants can only enter the country if they have crossed the borders of the EU in other member states; mainly in Greece. For this reason, Hungary has not taken part and does not want to take part in projects that do not make this issue evident.

On behalf of the Hungarian government, I would also like to make it clear that in our opinion your interpretation of the principle of solidarity is not in accordance with European Union legislation. And it is not in accordance with Hungarian historic traditions either. ln contrast some of the major member states of the EU, Hungary has no colonial past. These major member states have become immigrant countries, due to the obligations stemming from their colonial legacy. Hungary on the other hand is not an immigrant country, does not want to become an immigrant country and cannot accept being forced to change this. The interpretation of the principle of solidarity described in your letter is in essence the transformation of Hungary into an immigrant country, against the will of the Hungarian citizens. ln my view, this is not solidarity, this is violence.

I would like to inform you that we are confounded by the part of your letter that creates a link between the question of immigration and cohesion funds. Such a relationship does not exist and is not permitted by the current EU acquis. According to the view of the Hungarian government, a significant part of the resources provided by Cohesion Funds landed at the companies of net contributor countries. The economies of major EU member states have thus greatly benefited from the use of cohesion funds, as they have benefited from opening the markets of new member states.

I would finally like to state that I was stunned and puzzled to read that you and the European Commission refuse to provide funds for the fence. I am convinced that those who do not support the fence cannot and do not want to protect the citizens of the European Union. It impossible to defend ourselves against numerous illegal border crossing attempts without setting up physical obstacles. If instead of defending our borders, the European Commission is willing to finance solely measures and organisations that aim to facilitate the admission of migrants, then we will only give new incentives to hundreds of thousands of migrants who wish to move to Europe, instead of curbing migration.

I would therefore like to repeat the request of the Hungarian government for the European Union to pay half of the expenses of the Hungarian measures aimed at defending the common Schengen borders, including the cost of the construction of the fence. This sum - 270 billion forints - has been financed entirely by Hungarian taxpayers, but the fence and the Hungarian border-hunters are not only protecting Hungarians, but Austrian, German and other European Union citizens as well.

Yours sincerely,

Orbán Viktor