Government Office Chief: Hungary to push to influence UN’s migrant package
Hungary will stay in the talks on the UN’s current migrant package and will make a push to influence the draft document in a meaningful way, the government office chief said on Thursday.
Péter Szijjártó, the foreign minister, has been given a mandate to propose amendments to the five areas the Hungarian government finds problematic and to enforce Hungary’s position in the document, János Lázár told a regular weekly press briefing.
Lázár rejected the UN’s position that migration has a positive effect on the economy and that it is a useful, favourable and unstoppable process. The government office chief voiced criticism over the draft document not distinguishing between political, economic, legal and illegal migrants.
He also voiced opposition to proposals under which “economic migrants should be ensured safe and regulated routes” and
criticised the UN for suggesting that “accommodation and jobs should be granted to each immigrant”.
Plans to “remove legal or physical barriers and open up borders” cannot be accepted, Lázár said. He went on to say that “making migration organised, continuous, and legitimate” is against Hungary’s interests. “That would be equal to extending an invitation to 60 million people in Africa, who would then be entitled to social benefits and jobs,” he argued.
Lázár said that there were “a dozen” European Union member states that did not accept the UN’s package, and suggested that Hungary could find several allies both within and outside the community to support its position.
On the subject of the government’s “Stop Soros” draft law Lázár said that the government had received feedback from some 900 voters during recent consultations, and “all of them called for tighter regulations or urged that George Soros should be banned from the country”. He added, however, that the latter proposition is not possible under the constitution “nor does the government plan to do so”.
Lázár said that the draft package, submitted to parliament on Wednesday, was aimed at “eliminating physical or legal loopholes, thwarting any organisation promoting migration”.
He noted that some components of the package required a two-thirds majority to pass, and voiced hope that parliament’s parties would support them.
“If not now, there will be an opportunity to pass the legislation after April 8,” he said referring to the upcoming election.
Lázár also suggested that the EU could launch an infringement procedure after the Soros laws are passed, but added that the Hungarian government “cannot be stopped”.
Responding to concerns raised by Council of Europe Commissioner Nils Muiznieks, Lázár said that the new laws would apply to organisations promoting illegal or economic migration, thus abusing international rules, rather than to ones assisting political refugees.