Budapest, October 9 (MTI) – Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said he will submit on Monday an amendment to the constitution to lawmakers to reflect the outcome of a national referendum Hungary held on EU mandatory migration quotas on Oct.2.
Orbán said in an interview taped on Saturday afternoon and broadcast on public Kossuth radio on Sunday morning that he expects all MPs to support the amendment which clearly states that Hungary will not allow the forced resettlement of foreign nationals.
The amendment also states that foreign nationals who wish to live in Hungary may only do so by submitting an individual application that will be evaluated within the legal framework established by parliament, Orbán said.
The amendment also establishes that the form and the structure of the state, the territory of the country and its people belong to the constitutional identity of the Hungarian nation, Orbán said. This cannot be amended or overwritten by any external law, he added.
The amendment will not change the work of the National Immigration and Citizenship Office, rather it will reinforce the current legal position by inscribing in the basic law a prohibition on any modification by Brussels.
“I think we’ve legislated a nice text. This benefits the Hungarian Constitution and clearly expresses the will of the people,” Orbán said. The amended text will “remain within” the bounds of EU law, he said, adding that it has already been sent to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, he added.
Parliament’s decision will be a “means of assistance”, as there were not enough voters turning out for the referendum to validate its result with legal force, Orban said.
It’s appropriate for the prime minister to submit the amendment as the will of the people must be afforded its proper importance, he added.
Asked whether he would count on the support of the Jobbik party, Orbán said he expected the support of all lawmakers, adding that it is not the prime minister they must support.
“If they had to support me, then I don’t believe I could count on their support,” he added, noting that that was the impression he got from the most recent parliamentary debates.
“Fortunately, this is not about the prime minister, it is not about me, but about the will of 3.3 million people and that will can be supported, without fear, by all lawmakers, regardless of party affiliation,” he said.
Commenting on the impact of Hungary’s referendum abroad, Orbán noted that Nicolas Sarkozy, who has a chance of winning the French election, has already said he would call a referendum on migration related matters if he wins.
“I see that that Europe is becoming democratized. More and more countries are acknowledging that when it comes to matters of importance, such as immigration, political leaders may not choose their decision without the approval of the people,” Orbán said.
If the president and other leaders of the EC had followed EU rules, there would have been no need for a referendum in Hungary, the prime minister said. The European Council, made up of member states’ prime ministers, decided twice that they did not support mandatory quotas; regardless, the EC started to legislate on such quotas, he added.
EU interior ministers are scheduled to meet in Brussels on Oct. 13 to discuss the EC’s mandatory quota proposal, among other issues, Orbán said. But in Hungary’s view that proposal must be taken off the meeting’s agenda since that runs counter to the EU prime ministers’ previous decision, he added.
“We must stand our ground on Oct.13, and at the EU summit in Brussels two weeks later,” said Orbán.
Asked whether he had criticised domestic authorities on the matter of the presence of terrorists in Hungary and their use of local SIM cards, Orbán said those people had been invited to the EU by other states. They hurried through Hungary, as long as they could, then the country – because of a lack of any joint European solution – closed its borders, built a fence and stopped them, he added.
From that time on, the Hungarian border was hermetically closed, and it became Hungary’s responsibility who to allow across the border, Orbán said. What happened before that was not caused by Hungary, thus it is not the country’s responsibility, he said.