People across the European Union are looking to their governments to protect the bloc’s borders and prevent migrants from entering, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in a video published on Facebook on Thursday.
“People want two things, and not just in Hungary, not just in central Europe, not just in Italy, not just in Austria, but I daresay all over Europe. They want us to protect the borders to not allow migrants in, and thereby protect the security of our people,” Orbán said in the video.
People want their governments to conduct procedures for migrants already in Europe and “take them home”,
Orbán said. European democracy “is in trouble” because its leaders have been unwilling to do so, he added.
In his video published before the start of the summit, Orbán said he expected sharp debates during the two-day meeting. He said it was possible participants would come to consensus on Thursday evening concerning the introduction of full protection of the bloc’s external borders and setting up refugee camps outside them.
He said those two moves would not resolve the problem but would constitute a significant step forward.
Orbán noted he had met Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz for bilateral talks and had convened representatives of the Visegrad countries and met French President Emmanuel Macron.
Hungary’s standpoint on migration is unambiguous but the government is open to negotiations, the Hungarian representation in Brussels said.
The statement said
Germany had asked the Hungarian government to enter into bilateral negotiations over the issue, adding that the Hungarian government was ready to do so.