Government official: Hungary won’t become ‘immigrant country’

Hungary has again made it clear that it does not want to become a country of immigrants and insists that the direction of the European Union’s future migration policy should be decided by its citizens in the upcoming European parliamentary elections, a senior government official said in Brussels on Tuesday.

In the ballot in May, voters will get to have their say on whether “pro-migration forces should become stronger or weaker”, Szabolcs Takács, state secretary for EU affairs at the Prime Minister’s Office, told Hungarian journalists after a meeting of EU affairs ministers.

The Hungarian government faces “attacks” not only from its own opposition, but also from pro-migration countries and politicians across Europe for its firm stance on rejecting migration, Takács said.

He said it was not by accident that Dutch Green MEP Judith Sargentini was also scheduled to participate in a demonstration against the Hungarian government organised by the Hungarian opposition in Brussels on Tuesday afternoon.

Takács called a planned reduction of cohesion and agricultural funding in the EU’s 2021-2027 funding cycle a “disproportionate” measure under a “discriminative” approach, insisting that it aimed “to punish” countries unwilling to cooperate on Brussels’s migration policy.

In connection with the EU’s rotating presidency which Romania took over in January for six months, Takács said Hungary’s expectation was that it should give ample consideration to the stance and interests of Hungary and the Visegrád Four grouping.

“Hungary will support the Romanian presidency’s every effort to make the EU more secure and competitive,” he said.