Hungary’s fight with the European Union for sovereignty in the area of migration is underway, the head of the Prime Minister’s Office told a conference on Thursday.
Gergely Gulyás said:
“What we have done over the past few years when it comes to migration was fight for sovereignty.”
He said whereas Hungary refrained from dictating to others how to decide on the issue, “we insisted that no one should question our freedom … to decide on migration“.
Gulyás added that the key debate at European level in the coming years would revolve around the bloc’s powers “versus state sovereignty”.
He said what falls into the category of the bloc’s powers and those of the state was not “black and white”. He added that the most important issue in the migration debate of the past few years was what may be determined as a national competence as opposed to a community one.
He said the Lisbon Treaty contained, in most cases, reasonable compromises in terms of the division of powers, and wherever there were related disputes in recent years, Hungary had almost every time won the argument.
The minister noted that
the European Court of Justice had ruled that migrant distribution quotas should be implemented only in light of the extraordinary situation and on a temporary basis.
Generally, the court shared Hungary’s view that neither the European Commission nor any other European organisation possessed such distributive powers, he said, adding that legal and political debates on the subject would determine the next few years.
Meanwhile, Gulyás said Hungary’s national and state borders were not one and the same, “so we cannot speak of a nation state in Hungary in this way.” He said defining the concept of a political nation constitutionally may be a political objective for solving the problem of national minorities in neighboring states which had been already solved in Hungary.
“Our aim should be that the concept of the political nation enshrined in the Hungarian constitution serves as a model for other EU member states,” he said.
Gulyás also said that the “democratic” element in the term “democratic rule of law” was that the majority decides to form a government and has a legitimate right to exercise power, while the rule of law also protected the minority. Moreover, no one has the right to deprive anyone of certain fundamental rights, he added. Yet, the constitution also recognises situations in which the enforcement of certain freedoms are limited in the common interest, Gulyás said.