Parliament in session – Orbán’s constitutional amendment on migrant quotas
Budapest, October 17 (MTI) – A “new bloc” of supporters across party affiliations has emerged in Hungary since the Oct. 2 referendum, Minister Viktor Orbán said in parliament on Monday, introducing his new constitutional amendment on migrant quotas.
This “new bloc” is broad, diverse and strong, because people feel that Hungary’s sovereignty is “again in danger”, he said. The bloc is moving towards endorsing a nation of a “Europe of nations” while it also strives to “keep Hungary a country of Hungarians”, he added.
A vast majority of Hungarians endorsed at a recent referendum the idea that each nation should be allowed to decide over its own future, he said, introducing the bill, which is the seventh amendment of Hungary’s Fundamental Law. Supporters of a Europe of nations want to retain Europe’s diversity, unlike advocates of a “united states of Europe”, who want to get rid of nations, Orbán said.
The emerging new bloc is neither right nor left-wing, it is simply Hungarian, Orbán said. Its goal is to express a basic need stemming from “the Hungarian soul” namely that “without our consent and agreement nobody can decide with whom and how we want to live”.
The current amendment declares a commitment to a “Europe of free nations and an alliance of countries, but not to an empire controlled from Brussels,” Orbán said, adding that the referendum created a broad spectrum of support for Hungary’s sovereignty, which is “now again in danger”. It is necessary to amend the constitution on this point as the referendum reached beyond the migration issue, it was about “our constitutional identity,” he said. The issue of constitutional identity is “perhaps the essence of our future debates with Brussels,” he added.
Hungarian history powerfully demonstrates that any nation with a worsened geopolitical situation can decline into being “simply a nationality”. He quoted 19th century Hungarian statesman Lajos Kossuth as saying that “We Hungarians want to remain a European nation and not a nationality in Europe”.
Hungary’s sovereignty is again facing a challenge from international voices who are motioning to eradicate nations, who see the world as a globally inclusive place, where borders disappear and “their dream is that the world, but at least Europe, should melt into one big mass, rooting out national cultures, languages, heritage and laws,” Orbán said.
He asked political parties in parliament to put their party political considerations aside and support his amendment proposal. He said he had to leave the debate to travel to Bavaria for a commemoration of Hungary’s 1956 revolution. In his absence the government would be represented by Justice Minister László Trócsányi in the debate, he said.