Budapest (MTI) – Challenging the European Union’s system of mandatory migrant quotas could have “dire consequences” for Hungarian diplomacy, the green opposition LMP party warned on Wednesday.
If the Hungarian government continues to press the issue, Germany and Austria could send hundreds of thousands of migrants back to Hungary, LMP co-leader Andras Schiffer told a press conference.
Schiffer said that although the quota system itself will not solve the migrant crisis, Hungary’s refusal to take in the 1,300 refugees the rule would distribute to it would “send the wrong message”. Schiffer added that Hungary’s potential turning away of genuine refugees would even go against “the spirit of” international treaties and the Hungarian constitution.
Taking legal action against the decision of the EU’s council of interior and justice ministers could result in Hungary being seen as a “taker” member state which is unwilling to shoulder its fair share of responsibilities, he said.
Schiffer said the prime minister should clarify how he can guarantee that this “unfriendly move” by the government will not bring Austria and Germany to send back the 170,000 migrants registered here.
Schiffer added, however, that he agrees with the subsidiarity early warning mechanism of the Treaty of Lisbon giving national parliaments an opportunity to object to EU proposals, arguing that the “worst scenario” would be to have a member state challenge an EU law on the matter after it had already been passed.
He said the “limitless” admission of migrants only serves the interest of European corporations which he said do not care whether the refugee crises in the migrants’ countries of origin are ever resolved. Schiffer said this was the reason why the Dublin rules need to be replaced by a common asylum law that would clarify who are or are not eligible for refugee status.
The ruling Fidesz responded by saying that it was the quota system which could have “catastrophic consequences”, adding that the party will support the government if it chooses to challenge the EU’s decision.
Fidesz said the system is “flawed and emboldens migrants and people smugglers”. They said the proposed quotas were unrealistic and that migrants are unwilling to cooperate with authorities when it comes to their distribution. Fidesz added that the way the proposal on the quota system was approved “seriously violated” the independence and sovereignty of the member states.