"EU Must Help Pay for Border Protection, Current Pressure Unprecedented", Says PM Orbán

  • 24 Nov 2021 8:33 AM
  • Hungary Matters
"EU Must Help Pay for Border Protection, Current Pressure Unprecedented", Says PM Orbán
Hungary insists that the European Union should cover the costs of the protection of its borders, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said after a meeting with his Visegrad Group (V4) counterparts in Budapest on Tuesday.

The countries located on the EU’s periphery cannot be expected to bear the costs of border protection alone, Orbán told a joint news conference with his Czech, Polish and Slovak counterparts.

The prime minister criticised Brussels’s “flawed” migration policy, saying that the EU was prepared to fund “practically anything that increases migration pressure”. Brussels supports NGOs and launches integration programmes, he argued.

The one thing Brussels refuses to finance is border protection, Orbán said. Hungary has always said that it would only be fair if the EU covered at least half of the costs of the country’s border protection efforts “given that we’re not just protecting ourselves but the whole of Europe”, he said.

The V4 proposes that the EU should not support a single country that contributes either directly or indirectly to the migration pressure on the bloc’s external borders, including the pressure on the Polish border, Orbán said.

He added that the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia had expressed their full solidarity with and support for Poland at the meeting.

PM Orbán: EU Facing Unprecedented Levels of Migration Pressure

The European Union is facing unprecedented levels of migration pressure, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said at a meeting with his Visegrad Group counterparts in Budapest on Tuesday, arguing that the bloc had never before been under pressure from three directions.

Speaking to the media with his Czech, Polish and Slovak counterparts, Orbán said Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki had briefed the rest of the V4 on the situation on his country’s border.

In addition to the migration pressure on the Polish border, “NGOs are continuously bringing migrants to Europe’s shores” and the Western Balkan route “is again full”, the prime minister said.

Orbán thanked Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš for his decision to send soldiers to the Hungarian border and their help in apprehending more than 4,000 illegal entrants.

He said people fleeing Afghanistan would also make their way to Europe via the Western Balkan route. Some 30,000-35,000 people are fleeing the central Asian country on a daily basis, so the EU should expect the pressure on the Western Balkan route to increase, he added.

“And the Poles are on the receiving end of the latest attack,” Orbán said. “Our Polish friends are the ones under attack because of migration from the east.”

Gov’t Official: Eu's Migration Laws Ineffective

The European Union’s laws governing migration are ineffective in stopping illegal migration, a state secretary at the Prime Minister’s Office told a conference.

The EU should draft new regulations that can be used to keep migrants outside the bloc’s borders, Balázs Orbán told the conference organised by the Friends of Hungary Foundation.

He noted that Hungary’s efforts to protect its southern borders in 2015 had caused tensions within the EU. But Hungary’s border protection measures had proven effective in reducing the number of migrants who entered the country, Orbán said.

He added, however, that migration was on the rise again, with border guards having apprehended significantly more illegal entrants this year than last year and in 2019.

MTI Photo

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