Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said the European Union’s migration policy is the hotbed of people smugglers’ success, which makes the infringement procedure launched against Hungary for expelling foreign people smugglers especially hypocritical.
“The business model of people smugglers works precisely because of Brussels’ pro-migration policy," Minister Szijjártó told a press conference held jointly with his Bosnian counterpart Elmedin Konaković. Rather than stating that legal entry is the only way to come to Europe, “Brussels forces [resettlement] quotas, practically sending an invitation letter to every migrant to come here,” he said. In view of all that, the EU’s infringement procedure against Hungarian legislation on expelling people smugglers to serve their detentions in their former country of residence is “unacceptable, hypocritical and ludicrous,” he said. Hungary has spent some 650 billion forints (EUR 1.7bn) on border protection, and received a mere 1% of that in compensation from the EU, he noted, adding that Hungarian legislation adopted in April 2023 aimed to “expel people smugglers because it is better to have them outside the country.” “We expel them because we are not willing to spend Hungarian taxpayers’ money on them. Especially if they then turn to European courts, wanting money for not having been treated well.” “Besides committing crimes, and crimes facilitated by the European Union, we should also pay for not treating them well in Hungarian prisons,” he said.