Hungary’s nationalist government said the EU’s external borders should “remain perfectly sealed along all sections”. Hungarian politicians insisted they will reject political blackmail.

Since Europe’s migration crisis in 2015 Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government has erected heavily guarded fences along its borders with Serbia and Croatia, and refused to accept EU mandatory relocation quotas of refugees from elsewhere in the bloc. Budapest also built so-called border “transit zone” camps for asylum-seekers that were described as “unlawful detention” by Europe’s top court earlier this year.

The dangers of mass migration were acknowledged in Brussels “with a delay of several years, and still they now want to give Hungary an ultimatum,” Hungarian Justice Minister Judit Varga said on social media.

“We firmly reject political blackmail! In Hungary, only Hungarians can decide who they want to live with,” the minister added.

Varga reiterated Hungary’s “unchanged position,” which calls for the establishment of “hotspots outside Europe to process asylum claims,” as well as support for “issuing countries in guaranteeing appropriate living conditions,” protection of external borders and rejection of “compulsory relocation.”

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