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Sep 27, 2016

Quotes on Quotas: Prime Minister Orbán on the referendum, migration, the EU and more

Here’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, in his own words, on the referendum, the EU and the migration crisis, the fence and border security, and more.

Hungary’s referendum on October 2nd asks voters whether the European Union should be able to mandate the obligatory resettlement of non-Hungarian citizens into Hungary without the consent of the Hungarian citizens or their elected representatives.

Here’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, in his own words, on the referendum, the EU and the migration crisis, the fence and border security, and more.

On the referendum – “nothing about us, without us"

“The Government believes that democracy is one of Europe’s core values, and the European Union is also based on the foundations of democracy. This means that we may not adopt decisions – those that significantly change people’s lives and also determine the lives of future generations – over the heads of the people, and against the will of the European people. “

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán announces the referendum on the quota system, February 24, 2016

 “We must decide who we let in, and who we do not let in. But who should decide on this: Brussels or the nation states?”

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in his address to the Hungarian Parliament, September 12, 2016

 “I think that Europe is made of the totality of national interests. European politics must not turn on the interests of individual states. Something that is bad for Germans, Austrians, or Hungarians cannot be a good EU policy.”

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in an interview to Bild, February 25, 2016

“Not only has [the EU] cheated the prime ministers, and has by stealth appropriated some national competences, but a European organisation that no one has elected is assuming a political role.”

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán at Bálványos Summer Open University and Summer Camp, Băile Tuşnad, July 23, 2016

On the migration crisis and Europe’s failure to address it properly

“Today the European Union is rich but weak – and this is the worst possible combination. This is what has brought down on us the trouble that we call migration, as millions set out to start a new life in this community, in the European Union – in a rich but weak community, which is unable to defend itself.”

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s press statement after the meeting of the prime ministers of the Visegrád Four and Ukraine

“Europe seems like an old woman who is shaking her head in shock after reading the threatening news in the papers – but at the same time she forgets to close the door of her house.”

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in an interview to Bild, February 25, 2016

“One of the reasons why migrants start out over and over again and people smugglers target Europe over and over again is that they themselves see that Europe is weak.”

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán at Bálványos Summer Open University and Summer Camp, Băile Tuşnad, July 23, 2016

“There are 500 million of us Europeans. That means there are more of us than the Americans and Russians combined. We are one of the most developed economic regions of the world. Our technical tools, development, and financial power makes it possible for us to protect ourselves.”

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in a radio interview to Hungarian public radio, March 6, 2016.

“In the political environment in which we were raised, a basic principle is that it is always better to ensure that we cannot be harmed than to assume that others do not want to harm us.”

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in an Interview to Hungarian public radio on September 16, 2016

 “The problem is that we, Europeans do not act according to our interests. It is as if a captain of a ship that’s about to crash would not attempt to avoid the crash but instead would designate which lifeboats are the non-smoking ones. It’s as if we were debating how much water could get into which cabin. “

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s State of the Nation speech, February 28, 2016

 On Hungary’s alternative proposals to tackle the crisis

“I said that if we stop migrants at the border, we need to set up migrant or immigrant camps outside the European Union. These are called “hotspots”. If we want to set these up outside the territory of the EU, this can only be done with military security forces.”

PM Viktor Orbán’s press conference after an extraordinary meeting of the European Council, September 16, 2016

"Asylum procedures should be completed outside the EU in closed and protected hotspots before the first entry on the territory of the EU. The EU should contribute to the financing of acceptable living conditions and security in the hotspots."

"Frontline member countries’ as well as Western Balkan countries’ efforts to support the EU’s migration policy should be assisted by the necessary financial and other needs."

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's Schengen 2.0 proposal

 “Our first proposal is that we should continue to maintain a European economic policy based on strict fiscal discipline, structural reforms and economic stability. “

“Our second proposal is that the issue of security should be assigned a higher priority – indeed the highest priority; and in this regard we should begin the establishment of a joint European army. Our third proposal is that the European institutions should return to their original missions: the European Council should lead the European Union, and the European Commission should stop playing a political role and should revert to its function as laid down in the Treaties.”

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s statement before the V4+Germany Summit, August 26, 2016

 “But the fact is: if Berlin and Brussels had listened to us Central Europeans last summer, we would now have, at most, several tens of thousands of genuine refugees in Europe and not over a million uncontrolled migrants.”

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in an interview to Bild, February 25, 2016

On the border fence and border protection

“The situation is that not every country can be a member of the European Union; and not every person in the world should be able to become an EU citizen, simply because that is what they would like.”

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in his address to the Hungarian Parliament September 12, 2016

“We will teach both Brussels and the human traffickers that Hungary is a sovereign country and one can only enter its territory if he keeps our laws and obeys our uniformed men.”

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s State of the Nation speech, February 28, 2016

“Is it possible to stop the masses of people with physical barriers at the fence, at the border? My answer is that it is indeed possible.”

“If it [the United States] is able to use physical barriers along its southern border to stop the many people who would like to enter its territory, and to protect itself, I can’t see why we Europeans shouldn’t be able to do so.”

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in an Interview to Hungarian public radio on September 16, 2016

On Bulgaria’s role

“To put it briefly, my view is that everyone needs to understand that Europe’s future will not be decided in Brussels, but here, where we are standing now. Therefore the success of Bulgaria’s defence efforts is in everyone’s best interest.”

“Bulgaria must not be left to fend for itself in this, and it is not fair that Bulgaria alone should bear the burden of protecting its borders, as this country is not only protecting itself, but us at the same time.”

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s press statement by the Bulgarian-Turkish border, September 14, 2016

On relations with Turkey

“We support Turkey. We need a stable Turkish government, President Erdogan in a secure position, and reliable Turkish foreign policy. If the stability of Turkey is shaken for any reason – be that an attempted coup or anything else, and we have seen such things – there will not be a single stable state in that region to negotiate with, to talk with, or to act together with. “

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in an interview to Hungarian public radio, August 26, 2016

“We are humbly begging Mr. Erdogan for security, since we can no longer protect ourselves. In return, we give him money and promises. That is not a good policy because it makes Europe’s future and safety dependent on Turkey’s goodwill.”

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in an interview to Bild, February 25, 2016

On the threat uncontrolled migration creates

“As a result of modern-day population movement, terrorism and violence have become part of life in western Europe.”

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in his address to the Hungarian Parliament, September 12, 2016

“Security is an issue which we cannot play games with. Immigration and migration degrade Europe’s public security, they pose a threat to the public, and they bring terrorism upon us. “

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in an interview to Hungarian public radio, August 26, 2016

“If somebody takes masses of non-registered immigrants from the Middle East into a country, this also means importing terrorism, criminalism, anti-Semitism and homophobia.”

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in an interview to Bild, February 25, 2016

“Migration poses a threat, increases terrorism and increases crime. Mass migration fundamentally changes Europe’s cultural make-up. Mass migration destroys national culture. If we do not accept this view, if this does not become the European position, we will be unable to act against this threat.”

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán at Bálványos Summer Open University and Summer Camp, Băile Tuşnad, July 23, 2016

On preserving national culture and identity

“Europe is Hellas, not Persia. It is Rome, it is Christianity, not a Caliphate, “

“Hungary will not import criminal activity, homophobia, terrorism and anti-Semitism.“

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s State of the Nation speech, February 28, 2016

 “We may lose our European values – our very identity – by degrees, like the live frog allowing itself to be slowly cooked to death in a pan of water.”

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in his address to the Hungarian Parliament, September 12, 2016