EU summit – Orbán: EU summit failure in terms of migration policy
Bratislava, September 16 (MTI) – Friday’s informal EU summit in Pozsony (Bratislava) has been a failure in the sense that participants could not change “Brussels’ immigration policies”, the Hungarian prime minister told a press conference after the meeting.
The EU continues in its “self-destructive and naive” immigration policies; “they spoke more about accelerating the process of distribution than about stopping migrants at the Schengen borders”, Viktor Orbán said.
Orbán said leaders of the European nations along the Balkans migration route would meet in Vienna on September 24 and make another attempt to find a way forward. It is still to be seen if they will succeed but “Hungary can do only one thing: hold a successful referendum to bring about a change in Brussels’ migration policy,” he said.
At the same time, Orbán spoke positively about the summit’s decision to grant aid to Bulgaria. He argued that migration pressure on that country’s borders was increasing and relevant border control costs were significant.
Orbán said that the Visegrad Four was the only group of countries in the summit to put forward proposals for a more successful European Union, from which all members can profit.
Orbán said that Germany and Greece are the key countries to resolving the migrant crisis.
As long as Germany does not impose a firm ceiling on the number of migrants it is prepared to take in, a “suction effect” would continue to draw masses to Europe, he said.
Orbán stressed that under the Schengen rules Greece should halt the wave of migrants but it fails to do so.
“As long as these two countries do not change their migration policies, we have a single option: to abide by the Schengen rules,” he said.
Orbán welcomed that all the participating countries decided to continue cooperation within the EU, and none of them would follow Britain and leave the alliance. Instead of quitting the union, they try to improve the operation of its institutions, he said.
In view of the need to guard hotspots to be set up outside the EU for the registration of migrants, Hungary argued in favour of establishing a common European army, Orbán said. Several countries expressed clear support for the plan, stressing that, as a first step, defence cooperation should be strengthened, he added.
Orbán said it was oversimplification to call only those countries “solidary” that accept to take in migrants and criticise those refusing to follow suit as countries showing no signs of solidarity at all. Countries should be “judged” by their contribution to Europe’s security today, their spending and efforts towards ensuring that people can live in greater safety in Europe, he said.
Calling Hungary one of Europe’s most solidary countries, Orbán said, “If we did not protect the EU’s external border, other countries would face grave problems.”
Many fail to clearly understand in Brussels that migration is not simply a humanitarian issue, but has an impact on the identity of the nations it affects, he said.
“What we want in Hungary is to preserve our country’s identity,” Orbán said.