Meeting of EU leaders in Brussels – Orban: Hungary ‘in principle’ supports new EU border guard scheme
Brussels, December 17 (MTI) – Hungary “in principle” supports setting up a permanent body tasked with protecting the external borders of the European Union, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said ahead of the regular year-end meeting of EU leaders in Brussels on Thursday.
Orban said member states have yet to discuss the details of the scheme but the Hungarian government believes that setting up such a body would steer EU border protection in the right direction. The Hungarian government has always maintained that if a member state is unable to protect its borders on its own, then other member states must provide assistance.
Orban said the European Commission’s proposal to reorganise Frontex, the EU’s existing border agency, is clearly aimed at protecting Greece’s borders. He added, however, that Hungary will continue to protect its borders on its own, as it considers border protection a national competence.
Commenting on remarks by Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann about reducing EU funds for member states that refuse to take in refugees, Orban said the chancellor’s “blackmail” does not reflect European behaviour.
Orban said this was not the first time that Faymann had “blackmailed Hungary” and countries that support freedom of opinion and expression.