Germany has clearly turned its migration policy around and the difference between the positions of the Hungarian and German governments “is not as big as it was before”, the minister-elect to head the Prime Minister’s Office said in Berlin on Wednesday.
“The only thing we now have to find common ground on is that our rejection of all types of mandatory redistribution schemes is ethically and — because of the observance of the Schengen rules and the Lisbon Treaty — legally warranted,” Gergely Gulyás told public media.
“We disagree in terms of the mandatory redistribution [of migrants], but this is not a disagreement based on principle but rather one that stems from the differences in our circumstances,” Gulyás said.
Germany “had acted quite irresponsibly in 2015” by taking in more than one million migrants.
“Now it wants to share the consequences of that decision with others,” he said. Hungary disagrees with this goal, but the two countries do agree, however, that the European Union’s external borders must be protected, Gulyás said. “Unfortunately we cannot yet see if any sanctions would be imposed on countries that fail to fulfil this duty,” he added.
Hungary refuses to accept any policy that approaches the issue of migration from the idea of the mandatory redistribution of migrants.
Hungary believes that the starting point on this issue should be the protection of the bloc’s external borders, because “this is the guarantee that the trouble that came out of the decisions made in 2015 cannot escalate,” he said.
Gulyás is in Berlin to open a conference on Hungary’s place in Europe organised by the Friends of Hungary Foundation and the Philidor Institute.
Photo: MTI/EPA/Vaszil Donev