UN migration compact ‘flawed document’, says Orbán in Prague
The United Nations Global Migration Compact is a flawed document, and whoever signs it presents a serious risk to their own citizens, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in Prague on Friday.
At a joint press conference following a meeting with his Czech counterpart, Andrej Babis, Orbán said the document set down principles that would not reduce illegal migration but stimulate it.
Every substantive legal case in the future will make use of the document as a point of reference, he warned.
He said mass migration was a serious issue and decision-makers should not ignore the opinion of the people. Yet in Europe today, he added, people are not allowed to express their opinions, or leaders fail to take them into account.
“We in central Europe, however, want to remain democrats,” he said.
“Migration is testing the democratic nature of political systems,” the prime minister added.
Concerning Hungarian-Czech ties, Orbán said that bilateral relations “entered a new dimension” in recent years, and spoke highly of “unprecedented figures” in economic ties as well as good cooperation in defence and in other areas. He said that the turnover of bilateral trade and investments had increased and added that the two countries mutually supported investments. Hungarian pharmaceuticals were “doing well” in the Czech Republic, while Czech companies were active in Hungarian agriculture and telecommunications, the prime minister added.
On the subject of a “dynamically growing” defence industry cooperation, Orbán said “it is not just business” and insisted that “it has dimensions of confidence, because it will only work with countries trusting each other”.
Orbán noted that
Czech companies had contracts in the upgrade project of the Paks nuclear plant and added that “both countries think that nuclear energy is necessary”.
Answering a question about the Czech foreign ministry’s removing its Budapest embassy from a list of foreign offices of key importance, Orbán said that “coalition government is a difficult science but Hungary seeks to remain an ally for the Czech Republic”.
Concerning the European Parliament’s decision to hold another vote on “migrant visas”, Orbán said that
“it seems that we will have to keep on voting until we arrive at what they consider the right outcome”.
He added that “this institution calling itself a guardian of the rule of law will easily transgress the norms of that rule of law”. He voiced hope that after the upcoming European elections the “worn out MEPs will go home” and the deputies replacing them “will understand that we are in a different era”. He insisted that the current European Parliament and European Commission “cannot take the speed or the approach required in this new world”. He said that the commission needs “new members who will redirect this institution from an ill-advised political path to where it belongs; it is up to member states to set directions rather than the commission,” and added that “we don’t need a politburo”.
Answering a question about Ukraine, Orbán said that while that country has an “anti-Hungarian” government, the Hungarian government is “pro-Ukraine”. “We won’t change our position and stand by Ukraine in this conflict,” he said.
Orbán met Czech President Milos Zeman and House Speaker Radek Vondracek.