Interview – Hungary’s justice minister: Europe divided on migration while Hungary stands firm
Budapest, December 29 (MTI) – Europe is divided and unsure about migration while Hungary has firm positions on the key issues, Justice Minister Laszlo Trocsanyi told MTI in an interview on Tuesday.
Hungary has attacked the EU’s mandatory migrant quota plans at the European Court in Luxembourg, parallel with Slovakia, he said. Prior to bringing the suit Trocsanyi said he had sought the opinions of member states and it seemed that some countries were firmly opposed to the quota system, to the extent that “they wouldn’t hear our legal arguments”. Others were informally supportive, but wished to stay neutral, and still others went further, to say that the mandatory quota system had already failed, Trocsanyi said.
Seen from central Europe, the immigration policies of the West are “far from being a success story” and integration has raised problems over the past decades, especially if there was a religious obstacle, Trocsanyi said, adding that he himself had experienced this while being ambassador in Paris and Brussels.
Europe is undecided, signalled by its many contradicting responses on this issue, he said. Some European leaders want to look firm and resort to blackmail or threats, but this is not likely to succeed. Hungary has formulated firm positions based on its national traditions, “constitutional identity” and value choices, which are backed by legal arguments.
“We are in a dispute, but this is okay, it can help to reach a solution,” he said.
Hungary is not alone, it is backed by countries of the Visegrad grouping of the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia (V4). This alliance should be expanded, especially regionally, Trocsanyi said. The many different interests and voices in the European Union offer numerous opportunities to connect, and legal reasoning is important in order to represent Hungary’s viewpoint, he added. When there is no room for a compromise, the right to veto must be exercised.
“Constitutional historical traditions, Christian roots, family and marriage have different meanings in our region than in western Europe,” the minister said. The policy for Hungarian communities abroad is also on this list, he added. The right to use the mother tongue should be given more attention and legal protection at European forums, he said.