Valetta (MTI) – Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on the sidelines of an EU-Africa summit in Malta on Thursday that the European Union was “not too effective” in handling migration because member states were “lacking the will”.
Prime ministers of EU countries have been insisting steadily that the migration influx cannot be stopped. Yet some Greek boat captains have decided to deny travel to migrants from the islands and this helped stop the wave immediately, Orban told Hungary’s public news channel M1 in Valletta.
“We have evidence, more than just Hungary’s border fence, that the EU is lacking will to stop this flow,” Orban said. “The sad truth is that a few Greek ferry captains are more efficient in combating migration than 28 EU prime ministers have been after several meetings,” he said.
He said a “risky” point of the meeting that started on Wednesday was when prime ministers started to talk about the benefits of migration, insisting that migration, when managed well, can bring a lot of advantages to both the sending and receiving countries. Orban said he did not agree with this position and stressed that the migration crisis in Europe today was “not a win-win, but a no-win situation,” where nobody benefits. The sending countries are losing their most valuable labourers, those physically most fit and those taking on the most valuable jobs, he said. “And we get a community of people on our backs that we are unable to integrate,” he said, adding that he had called attention to the dangers of migration at the summit.
Orban said the 28 leaders were meeting separately this afternoon, which “should be a tough discussion” about what is expected of Turkey. Hungary’s position is the following: “we don’t want the EU to sit down to talks with Turkey in a way that would create the impression that Turkey will be its saviour.” It is not possible to talk while one party regards the other as “last hope”, Orban said. The EU should first build up its own line of defence, “protect ourselves without Turkey” and after that we can reach a reasonable agreement with Turkey, Orban said.
He added that the idea of giving 3 billion euros to Turkey instead of giving it to Bulgaria and Macedonia was “unfortunate”. Those two countries could protect their borders “if the Greeks are not willing to protect their own southern borders,” he said.
The Visegrad grouping of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia met on the sidelines of the summit. They decided to send more than 300 border patrol and police officers to Greece, where the “wave of migrants can be stopped at the southern borders”, Orban told M1. The V4 countries also agreed in Valletta that they would jointly contribute to the funds aimed at curbing the influx of migration, he added. In addition, the V4 members agreed to hold a summit in Prague in December this year, to which the president of South Korea would also be invited. In addition, British proposals on EU reform will be discussed, Orban said.