Strasbourg, May 19 (MTI) – Even though the debate in the European Parliament on Tuesday was formally about Hungary, big questions facing Europe such as immigration were successfully addressed, Viktor Orban, Hungary’s prime minister, told a press conference.
“A debate within the EU on immigration began which further reinforces hope of success,” Orban said.
The prime minister said that the new European Commission proposal on migration rules would only encourage immigration to the bloc. He said it was a policy mistake which could prove to be ruinous for the continent.
Orban said the debate so far had mixed up the issues of refugees, economic migrants and guest workers. But these should be dealt with separately, and separate rules should be worked out for each issue, he added. The dimensions of human rights, the economy, demography and culture should be handled on equal terms, the prime minister said.
Orban said the problem would be settled if Hungary were once again allowed to decide how to regulate immigration. The prime minister noted that in 2012 the EU had forbidden Hungary from taking illegal immigrants into custody if they claimed to be refugees.
Asked if he sees a need for debates on the basic EU values, Orban said that debates should be allowed and must be held concerning all types of values.
In different times and situations, political players may draw squarely different conclusions from the same principles and values, he argued.
Orban said it was not only along party lines that views differed in the debate; there were differences within the European People’s Party, too. The latter were in part caused by difficulties in giving an authentic language translation of the questions on Hungary’s immigration questionnaire, he said. The other reason was the existence of more radical and more moderate parties within the EPP. It is not easy to keep this large party family together, he said.