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PM Orbán in Brussels on migrant quotas

September 5th, 2015

As PM Orbán discussed migration issues with EU leaders, commentators wonder if the increased quotas hinted at by President Juncker would help resolve the migration crisis in Hungary and the EU.

After meeting, European Commission President Juncker, EP President Schulz and European Council President Tusk, PM Orbán dismissed media reports on a proposed quota system that would redistribute as many as 54,000 refugees from Hungary to other EU member states. PM Orbán argued that a quota system is likely to trigger a new wave of migration, but said that no figures were mentioned. However, he added, he would consider a proposal with detailed quota numbers if it were to be made, although it would be close to impossible to keep refugees against their will in the country where they would be allocated. He also hinted that none of the EU leaders he met came forward with an alternative to Hungary’s border fence to stop the flow of migrants. The Hungarian PM reinstated that while refugees coming from war zones need to be taken care of, Schengen borders need to be protected from undocumented economic migrants not eligible for refugee status in order to sustain free movement within the EU.

In the meantime, government politicians blamed Germany for the increasing unwillingness of migrants to cooperate with Hungarian authorities. The German government’s suggestion that all asylum seekers from Syria would be granted refugee status in Germany has further radicalised the mood of the migrants, they claimed.

An EU-wide agreement is indispensable to help resolve the situation, István Pataky comments in Magyar Nemzet. The conservative analyst thinks that there is no real ideological dispute between the Hungarian government and the EU leadership. Everyone seems to agree that Europe needs to give shelter to refugees arriving from war torn countries, but the borders of the EU should be kept shut for other undocumented migrants whose lives are not threatened in their home countries. In an aside, Pataky suggests that Hungary should help undocumented migrants better and provide them with appropriate temporary shelter while they are in the country rather than blaming the crisis on Germany.

In Mandiner, Brigitta Kiss wonders whether a quota system would be feasible in the EU. The redistribution of migrants proposed by Germany and other pro-migrant states does not take into consideration the will of migrants themselves. Migrants who cross the Schengen borders do not want to live in the EU in general, but have more specific destinations. They do not want to live in Greece or Hungary, but rather in Germany, Austria or Sweden. Bearing this in mind, it would be an act of self-deception to assume that they would stay in the countries where they are allocated, Kiss concludes.


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