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Jun 20, 2017

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s statement at the press conference following the meeting between the heads of government of the Visegrád Four and the Benelux states

19 June 2017, Warsaw (Warszawa)

Good afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen,

I have been given the most difficult topic, and that is migration. First of all I would like to say that we have just had a splendid morning, and we got closer to the leaders of the Benelux countries than we had ever thought possible. We have had an exceptionally interesting meeting. If I were to sum up the views stated on the issue of migration, I can tell you that yet again it has been confirmed that the European Union’s greatest value is amicable disagreement. The countries which met today have different cultural backgrounds and foundations, and different cultural foundations produce different migration policies. There were countries which clearly stated that they do not want to change their cultural composition and pattern, while others already live in a much more diverse world than we do. This significant distance also clearly demonstrates the heroic magnitude of the task that the European Union has taken on in attempting to build a common migration policy. This is an admirable attempt, and we will keep trying. While, as you can see, we are progressing in small steps, there were a few causes for optimism. So, despite the widely diverging positions, we continue to encourage the EU to seek the creation of a common concept. I can tell you for sure that there was greater agreement on the external dimension than on the internal one. We agreed that we must protect our borders. We agreed that it is desirable to separate refugees from migrants at the earliest stage possible. We agreed that we should conclude agreements with every country of origin and transit country, and we also agreed that it is necessary to set up a joint EU list of safe third countries and countries of origin. So although views are divergent, we did manage to agree on a few issues. This is an admirable result that we must prize.

I wish to thank my colleagues for their cooperation.