Balázs Orbán: Migratory pressure is on the rise

The prime minister’s political director warns of an increase in illegal migrant crossings into Europe and suggests the conflict in Ukraine is intrinsically linked to the broader issue of illegal immigration.

In a statement published on his social media channels on Tuesday, Balázs Orbán acknowledged that the biggest challenge currently facing Europe is the Russo-Ukrainian war, however, the consequent humanitarian crisis will ensue far further than Europe’s borders.

“The migration pressure on the external borders of the EU is increasing this year,” Orbán wrote, linking to reports last week of almost 2,000 illegal migrants attempting to storm the Spanish enclave of Melilla on the African mainland.

“The incident highlights that immigration and border protection remain one of the most important issues,” the prime minister’s political director wrote.

Orbán cited the EU’s border protection agency, Frontex, which recently revealed an 80 percent increase in the number of illegal border crossings into the EU during the first five months of 2022 compared to the same period last year.

“While 120,000 migrants arrived in southern European states last year ... the Mediterranean countries expect 150,000 immigrants this year,” Orbán explained, warning that the consequences of the Russo-Ukrainian war in an area known for its considerable grain production would be felt further afield.

“It seems that the main security and economic reasons that trigger migration have not stopped, and even the war in our neighborhood may lead to a significant decline in food, especially in grain export.

“Developing countries in North Africa depend to a great extent on Russian and Ukrainian exports, thus hindering procurement and rising prices may lead to escalation of social tensions and destabilization,” Orbán added.

Photo credit: Facebook/Orbán Balázs