Hungary braces for stormy EU summit

Hungarian Prime MInister Viktor Orbán in Brussels on October 21, 2022. (MTI/Prime Minister's Office)
By Dénes Albert
4 Min Read

The two-day summit of the European Council, which will be attended by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, begins today in Brussels, and all signs point to it being a stormy session. The agenda will be quite varied and will include illegal migration, but the hottest topic of discussion will certainly be EU funds. Brussels is continuing to withhold funds from Hungary, while new contributions are being sought from member states to support Ukraine and to increase the salaries of European commissioners.

The EU’s budget proposal is ill-considered and would put Hungary in an even more disadvantageous position than it is currently, government spokesman Zoltán Kovács said in a video interview that appeared yesterday on

“We have been enjoying injustice for 11 years now,” he said, adding that Hungary is a victim of systematic abuse. Since the beginning of the migration crisis in 2015, Hungary has spent more than HUF 600 billion (€1.6 billion) on border protection, and “not a single penny has been given” to protect not only our own borders but those of Europe as well.

Kovács pointed out that now, by circumventing the previous decision of the European Council, a proposal has been proposed that puts Hungary in an even more disadvantageous position than it is now, with mandatory migrant quotas and the imposition of registration obligations. At the same time, the EU is withholding resources that would benefit the country, he underlined, adding that the funding is not a gift or a donation, but compensation in the common market of European states.

“They consider the suggestion to be frivolous,” he said, pointing out that Brussels has not accounted for the funds spent so far nor on what exactly they have been spent.

“Where is the money?” asked Zoltán Kovács, who said that since they are asking for a large amount of new money, the suspicion is growing that this money is no longer there because it has already been spent.

Meanwhile, posting from Brussels, Prime Minister Orbán wrote on Facebook that he had a pre-summit discussion with various prime ministers, including Andrej Plenković of Croatia, Lajos Ódor of Slovakia, Ulf Kristersson of Sweden, Alexander de Croo of Belgium, and Xavier Bettel of Luxembourg.

He summed up the Hungarian position in four points:

  • It is unacceptable that Brussels would give Ukraine another €50 billion in aid when we know nothing about the use of EU funds sent since the war began.
  • Brussels is demanding more money from member states to cover the deficit in the EU budget caused by rising interest rates while continuing to withhold money owed to Hungary and Poland from previous joint borrowing. This is unacceptable.
  • instead of stopping illegal immigration, Brussels wants to spend billions more on resettling illegal migrants in Europe.
  • On top of this, the EU commission would take billions of euros more from member states to pay Brussels bureaucrats. This is outrageous!

Regarding the last point, the EU commission has included a variety of salary increases for officials, which Hungary opposes due to the high inflation European citizens are currently having to bear.

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