Budapest, October 10 (MTI) – Prime Minister Viktor Orbán on Monday submitted a constitutional amendment proposal in connection with European Union migrant quotas.
The proposals contain a ban on foreigners settling in Hungary unless they abide by the country’s laws on obtaining residency, according to the homepage of parliament. They would also enshrine in the fundamental law a ban on settling a “foreign population” in the country.
A foreign citizen outside the European Economic Area (EEA) may live in Hungary after following the procedures set out in Hungarian laws approved by parliament, and based on their request assessed by authorities on an individual basis, the bill said.
The five-point amendment seeks to change the “national creed” of the constitution, adding that “it is the state’s fundamental duty to protect Hungary’s constitutional identity rooted in its historical constitution”. The changes also declare that in the interest of facilitating Hungary’s participation as an EU member state, the community’s joint exercise of powers must be in line with the basic rights and freedoms laid out in Hungary’s basic law and they must not put any limitation on Hungary’s territorial integrity, population or its inalienable right to choose the form and institution of its state.
The amendment also declares the safeguarding of Hungary’s constitutional identity as a duty of all state bodies.
The justification attached to the proposal cites Europe’s migrant crisis and says that 1.5 million people entered the continent illegally since the crisis escalated in 2015. It adds that the “unprecedented mass migration wave” poses an “insurmountable” challenge for Europe and that uncontrolled immigration increases the threat of terrorism.
The document also said the EU had attempted to distribute migrants among member states through a mandatory quota scheme. Hungary was the first member state to vote on in a referendum, it said, noting that 98 percent of Hungarians who cast valid votes in the referendum had rejected the EU’s migrant redistribution plan. This created a new cross-party bloc that put the protection of the country’s sovereignty first, it added.
The leftist opposition Democratic Coalition said the proposal was a “sham” composed of “reshuffled Hungarian and European stipulations”. Csaba Molnár, DK’s executive vice chair, insisted that the prime minister had “not defended” the country through his proposal but “swindled it”.
The state secretary for government communications later told a press conference that Fidesz group leader Lajos Kósa had convened a meeting of parliament’s five parties for Tuesday to discuss the amendment proposal. Bence Tuzson said the government was open to any suggestions from the parties regarding the proposal that merit any changes to it.
A vote on the proposal is scheduled for Nov. 8, he noted.
The leader of opposition Jobbik voiced support for the proposal. Gábor Vona added, however, that he would suggest some changes to the text. Referring to a ruling by Germany’s Constitutional Court, Vona said that on issues concerning migration or quotas, the constitutions of member states should have precedence over European law.