Hungary stands by its position that the European Commission should contribute to the costs of the fence Hungary installed along its border with Serbia at the onset of the migration crisis, the government office chief said on Thursday.
At his weekly press briefing, János Lázár noted that the EC had rejected Hungary’s request for the EU to finance half of the costs of the border fence.
European commissioner for migration, home affairs and citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos refused Hungary’s request for support for the operation and construction of the Hungarian fence, saying the commission does not consider aid for the building of the fence or extra expenses related to migration to be justified.
Lázár said the government was astonished by the response, saying that Hungary’s border seal and other fences had put a break on the illegal migration wave through the Balkans in 2015. The closure of the Balkan route has helped Europe to get a grip on the migration process, he added.
He said it was unworthy of the culture of European cooperation to deprive Hungary of the possibility of subsidies which the country had a right to.
Further, the government office chief said the commission operated double standards. Other countries such as Bulgaria received European support, even for the building of its fence, meanwhile the commission, he said, paid for migrants to enter the bloc.
“We insist that the fence is the solution rather than organising migration,” he said.
The relationship between Brussels and Budapest will continue to be influenced by the issue this year, he said, particularly since the commission is expected to initiate the distribution of migrants already in Europe, with a further 50,000 migrant relocations.
“All this runs contrary to European values,” Lázár added.
On another subject, Lázár said Prime Minister Viktor Orbán will take part in a conference of EU leaders in Gothenburg in the coming days, focusing on the social aspects of the labour market. The EC likely believes that the EU’s social pillar should support migration, he said, adding that Hungary would never support this. “We believe it is European workers that should receive support.”
Featured image: www.kormany.hu