Migration is the “most important topic” for the upcoming European parliamentary elections, Gergely Gulyás, the head of the Prime Minister’s Office, told a press conference on Thursday.
Concerning migration with regard to Hungary, Gulyás said that Hungary’s border control prevents masses of migrants from attempting to enter the country illegally. “Since the border fence was built migrants have avoided Hungary, but if the government changed its policy, Hungary would be a migrant destination just the same,” he insisted.
On another subject, Gulyás said that Hungary’s ruling Fidesz wants to stay a member of the European People’s Party (EPP). He said “attacks” against Fidesz from within the EPP had come “exclusively from parties that had supported mandatory migrant quotas” but added that “those parties are also important EPP members” and that “the EPP embraces many different opinions”.
He voiced hope that the EPP will run “unified and strong” in the upcoming election with “Fidesz emerging as its strongest member”.
Concerning conditions set by EPP group leader Manfred Weber for Fidesz to remain a member of EPP, Gulyás said that consultations had been held with EPP leaders at which the Hungarian government said it would not “compromise on its position of rejecting migration”.
Referring to another condition, concerning the Central European University, Gulyás said that “what the EPP group leader is asking is an issue resolved and closed”. Fidesz continues to support Weber because “he would be best” for the next European Commission president.
Gulyás added that “despite disappointments on some issues, Fidesz still views the EPP as the best platform for endorsing a Christian Democrat policy.”
Gulyás said that Fidesz had had talks with CDU head Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and Weber but not with Marine Le Pen’s RN party. He said that even if Fidesz were not an EPP member it “should have good relations” with Germany’s CDU/CSU parties but “it would not be possible” to cooperate with the AfD party.