The European Union has spectacularly failed to effectively tackle previous waves of the migrant crisis, and to adopt policies that have failed to cope with the latest wave would be completely illogical, Hungarian MEP Balázs Hidvéghi told European parliamentary colleagues.
Speaking in the European Parliament on Wednesday, ahead of Thursday’s crunch vote on the newly proposed migration pact, the Fidesz MEP warned lawmakers against pursuing the same approach to managing the migration crisis as the one that has previously failed
“If a certain method to solve a problem doesn’t work, then after some time it’s evident that one stops using that method, right, and tries something else? It’s just human logic,” he told politicians in Strasbourg.
“The same is true for tackling migration. This debate illustrates that the way the European Union has tried to tackle the migration crisis over the past few years has been a spectacular failure.”
The fundamental reason for the catastrophic situation in the Mediterranean is that Europe basically still tolerates illegal entries into its own territory, and as long as it stays like that migrants will keep coming illegally. They will pay the smugglers, they will risk their lives, and this situation will continue,” Hidvéghi warned MEPs in the chamber.
“We all know that the vast majority of the people coming are not really refugees. They are economic migrants who simply take advantage of the weakness of Europe and the fact that we don’t even enforce the existing laws and rules that we do have.
“There’s absolutely no point in talking about solving the migration crisis or creating legal pathways as long as this stays like that. These gaps have to be closed,” the Hungarian politician claimed.
Hidvéghi urged the European Commission to do everything in its power to support the Italian government currently being overwhelmed as it attempts to defend Europe’s external border, and called for “all who have no right to stay” to be “sent back to where they came from immediately.”
The migration pact was passed by European lawmakers with a two-thirds majority on Thursday as MEPs showed their support for measures that include mechanisms to compel neighboring countries to support countries whose welfare services become saturated.
An amendment to the pact was also passed on Wednesday endorsing the use of EU funds to help build “border barriers,” a move that has regularly been ruled out by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen despite pleas from leaders of nations with an external border such as Greece and Hungary.