Baile Tusnad, Romania, July 22 (MTI) – It is a key issue of national sovereignty whether Hungary is allowed to determine the scope of its citizens and the conditions under which foreigners are let to enter its territory, Lajos Kósa, parliamentary leader of the ruling Fidesz party, said on Friday.
“We will never give up this right of ours,” Kósa said at the Bálványos Summer University in Baile Tusnad (Tusnádfürdő), in central Romania.
The national referendum on mandatory migrant quotas scheduled for October 2 will be meant to reinforce this sovereignty, he said.
Péter Harrach, parliamentary leader of the co-ruling Christian Democrats, said that real refugees should be granted protection, primarily in their home country. In turn, Europe should be protected from migrants driven by economic or welfare considerations.
Bernadett Szél, co-leader of the opposition LMP, said that regulating migration and immigration have always been and should remain national competences within the European Union. No nation should yield to blackmail, she said, arguing that Hungarian voters should reject the mandatory migrant quotas.
It is, however, quite unusual that the referendum on the quotas was initiated by the government, all the more so because other attempts to call a referendum have been hindered by those in power. One should make no distinction between referendums, she said.
Bence Tuzson, Hungary’s state secretary for government communications, said that depriving member states of their decision-making powers would “turn Europe on its head”. The EC’s recent proposal is pointing in that direction.
Tuzson said the European community should first redefine its common values and then make efforts towards protecting them.
György Bakondi, chief security advisor to Hungary’s prime minister, said that fully 400,000 migrants from 104 countries had crossed Hungary since the migrant crisis began but their purposes, identity and nationality remained mostly unknown.
The inflow of migrants to Europe is far from over, he said, adding that mistaken decisions and late response by Brussels to the crisis have created a situation that poses a “serious threat” to the continent.
Péter Györkös, Hungary’s ambassador in Berlin, said that Germany could face serious destabilisation if efforts to integrate migrants and stop the migrant flow at the EU’s external borders fail.
“This cannot be in any member state’s interest,” he said.