EU’s migrant quota scheme could cost Hungary billions of euros if Hungary resists

By John Cody
5 Min Read

Under the new EU Pact on Migration and Asylum, voted into law by EU interior ministers last Thursday, member states will be obliged to take in a certain number of migrants in the name of “voluntary solidarity.” If they reject these migrants, they could pay up to €22,000 per migrant into an EU “solidarity fund.”

The EU is allowed to relocate up to 30,000 migrants a year to member states that do not have any, but this figure could rise to 120,000 in coming years if the package is adopted.

Even if a small fraction of that 120,000 is sent to Hungary, the country could end up paying billions over the course of the next few years.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said the new rules do not offer Hungary many choices.

“Brussels is abusing its power. They want to forcibly transfer migrants to Hungary. This is unacceptable! They want to turn Hungary into an immigrant country by force,” Orbán assessed the agreement from Hungary’s perspective.

Politico writes that under the new EU plan, there are two different routes: “a stricter asylum procedure done right at the border, which could include a short detention period, and another, more permissive process. Pre-screening would determine where each person goes.”

Orbán argued that Hungary would basically be forced to take in migrants and that this is completely contrary to Hungary’s interests and the will of the Hungarian people, not to mention the fact that migrants are arriving in Europe at the invitation of Western countries that encourage immigration, especially Germany.

In this scenario, the countries that would again bear the consequences of the EU’s failed migration policy would be those that have been calling for stronger and tougher action since 2015, such as Hungary and Poland, and cannot help the situation.

“The European Union would introduce a mandatory distribution of migrants among member states and, if the relevant legislative process goes through, member states will have no say over who will live in their territories,” said Bence Rétvári, the Hungarian parliamentary state secretary of the interior ministry.

The other option is for Hungary to pay for the return of the quota number of asylum seekers to their countries of origin. Brussels has set the amount at €22,000 (about HUF 8 million) per immigrant.

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For about 10,000 migrants, that would cost Hungary €220 million. Over the course of a decade, this figure could quickly add up to billions.

Moreover, almost a third of asylum procedures in Europe have to be conducted in Hungary. The reason is that the Greeks and Bulgarians do not keep track of illegal immigrants, so Brussels has treated them as if they did not exist. In addition, the new EU rule sets such a short time limit — 12 weeks — that it is impossible to obtain a final judicial decision on expulsion, which means that Hungary is effectively obliged to accept migrants unconditionally, news portal Origó writes.

Migrants not a strength after all?

EU officials have long claimed that diversity and immigrants are a net benefit to the economy, yet, Western countries that invited millions of migrants into their countries are also desperate to unload them on Eastern European countries that have rejected mass immigration.

Germany, for instance, has seen its medical system, education system and housing system overrun by foreigners, which has led to the rapid rise of the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, now polling at 20 percent. The German government estimates that migrants will cost taxpayers €36 billion alone this year. At the same time, these migrants are responsible for an incredible amount of crime in the country, as data from the German government shows.

In Sweden, which was once considered to have the most liberal refugee policy in Europe, rising murders, shootings, and migrant clans have made it one of the most dangerous countries in Europe. And this has led to the victory of a conservative government, mostly on the back of the immigration issue.

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