Strasbourg, May 16 (MTI) – A ruling Fidesz MEP decried Brussels migration policy on Tuesday, calling for the reinforcement of EU borders, while Democratic Coalition’s MEP said Europe needed a strong unified policy based on solidarity.
Speaking at Tuesday’s plenary session of the European Parliament, Kinga Gál of ruling Fidesz said that a mandatory quota distributing migrants among the member states is “unacceptable”. Hungary has so far spent 284 billion forints (EUR 917.1m) on border defence and continues to expand its humanitarian presence in the Middle East, she said. The problem should be solved by “dealing with the causes of migration locally and reinforcing our borders”, not by a compulsory quota system, she said.
Péter Niedermüller of leftist Democratic Coalition said Europe needed a “robust and positive migration policy in the service of order and safety” and based on solidarity. Border member states cannot be made responsible for every aspect of the situation, he said. “Anyone can lie and say that the EU wants to let anyone in without control, but that is simply not true”, Niedermüller said. “It is a blatant lie for political gain”.
The MEPs spoke at the plenary session after the EU commissioner for migration, home affairs and citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos called on all member states to accept migrants to start fulfilling their quotas. Avramopoulos called the quota system “the key element of EU migration policy” and said that around 18,000 asylum seekers have already been resettled within the framework. Avramopoulos said that the number was much lower than planned, and said that the European Commission will start infringement procedures against member states not taking steps to comply within one month. The policy aims to resettle 160,000 asylum seekers within the bloc.
On Tuesday afternoon, the European Commission published a situation report saying that Hungary, Poland and Austria have accepted no asylum seekers so far. The report welcomed Austria’s recent offer to accept 50 asylum seekers from Italy.