In an opinion piece published on Tuesday, Malin Björk, MEP of the Swedish Left Party, called on her compatriot, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson (who is, by the way, also responsible for the EU’s new migration pact), to prevent Hungary and our “racist government” from “controlling EU refugee policy.”
It would not be a surprise if Björk’s name rings a bell for those who have been keeping a close eye on our Nordic friends’ concern for Hungary. In 2016, she toured mainstream Western media, claiming that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán was “playing a very dangerous and racist game.” And just this past February, Björk made headlines with her bright idea that the European People’s Party should “end Orbán once and for all.” (Read my response here.)
In her latest piece, Malin Björk goes even further. She writes that “racist governments in countries such as Hungary and Poland will oppose anything that is not about building walls against people on the run.”
This is nonsense.
According to Hungary’s well-established migration policy, a stance that has remained largely unaltered since the 2015 migrant crisis, all refugees who are eligible for asylum must be granted entry into Hungary. There are, however, two conditions that have to be met: asylum seekers must be fleeing persecution, and they must apply for asylum from a country where they are considered to be in danger.
While the masses of migrants who have reached our southern borders for the last five years might have begun their journey fleeing persecution, upon arriving at the Hungarian border, they have already passed at least three countries (e.g., Turkey, Bulgaria, Serbia) where they were no longer in imminent danger. In accordance with the relevant rules and regulations, asylum claims in these cases may be denied.
Secondly, it seems that the Swedish leftist MEP still believes that the rights of refugees should be put before the rights of our citizens, as she continues her desperate campaign in favor of an obligatory “redistribution system.” If you consider the last parliamentary vote in Sweden, you’ve got to admire her ideological determination. More than 17 percent of voters supported the strongly anti-immigration Swedish Democrats – double that of what her own Left Party received. If she chooses to ignore that, that’s on her. But she would do well to respect the opinion of more than 98 percent of Hungarians who voted against any kind of migrant quota system in a 2016 referendum.
Björk has played a key role in promoting the migrant quota system in the European Parliament. That proposal is at odds with the vast majority of Hungarian voters and, dare I say, many, many citizens across Europe.
Photo credit: UNHCR