Orbán: No chance for single EU migration policy

(L-R) Prime Ministers of: Luxembourg, Xavier Bettel; Slovakia, Robert Fico; Netherlands, Mark Rutte; Poland, Beata Szydlo; Hungary, Viktor Orbán; Belgium, Charles Michel; and Czech Republic, Bohuslav Sobotka, pose for a family photo before the Visegrád Group and Benelux countries meeting in Warsaw, 19 June 2017. [Pawel Supernak/ EPA]

Hungary’s populist prime minister said Monday (19 June) that he sees no chance for a single EU-wide migration policy, just days after the bloc launched legal action against Budapest for refusing refugees under a controversial solidarity plan.

“To say that there will be one integrated, single European migration policy, I do have my doubts and I do not see any chance for this,” Viktor Orbán told the Benelux and Visegrád group leaders meeting in Warsaw ahead of an EU summit in Brussels later this week.

“Hungary is open to any negotiations to this end but we would like to continue to remain realists,” the Hungarian PM added.

Orbán threatens to sue EU over mandatory migrant quotas

Hungary will sue the European Commission and resist mandatory migrant resettlement quotas if Brussels does not take them off the agenda, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said on Friday (28 October).

The EU launched legal action last week against Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic for refusing to participate in relocating 160,000 refugees under a 2015 plan set up when more than one million people landed on Europe’s shores, mainly in Italy and Greece.

EU opens sanctions procedure against Hungary, Poland and Czech Republic over refugees

The EU launched legal action yesterday (13 June) against Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic for refusing to take in their share of refugees under a controversial solidarity plan.

Brussels had set a June deadline for Warsaw and Budapest to start accepting mainly Syrian, Eritrean and Iraqi asylum seekers. Prague has also come under pressure after effectively dropping out of the relocation plan.

Orbán argued Monday that his government’s rejection of refugees and migrants was intended to preserve the Central European country’s identity.

“Let us not create a European migration policy – and this is the Hungarian position – as a result of which we will no longer be the kind of people we are now,” Orbán said.

“We would like to preserve what we are today, the kind of people that we are today.”

European sources have said some EU countries have been setting unacceptable conditions by refusing Muslims, black people or large families, with Eastern European states the worst for discriminating on religious or racial grounds.

Slovak PM: ‘It’s impossible to integrate Muslims’

Challenging the EU’s political correctness, Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico said he will not allow a large Muslim community in his country. Fico’s anti-immigration rhetoric has boosted his Direction-Social Democracy party (SMER-SD) ahead of the 5 March elections.

They have also blamed the delays in implementing the EU relocation programme on governments trying to screen jihadists in the wake of terror attacks, a lack of housing and education for asylum seekers, and other logistical problems.

Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel shot back at Orbán, insisting that the principle of EU “solidarity isn’t flexible”.

“If we play the game where everyone has their own individual definition of solidarity, it’s the end of the European Union. Solidarity is the basis of the European project,” said Bettel at the joint press conference of seven prime ministers in Warsaw.

Luxembourg foreign minister wants Hungary out of EU

Luxembourg’s foreign minister, Jean Asselborn, has called for Hungary to be thrown out of the European Union. EURACTIV Germany reports.

Heads of government from Benelux states Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg as well as Visegrád group nations including the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia met for multilateral talks in Warsaw ahead of a key EU summit in Brussels on Thursday (22 June) focused on Brexit.

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