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Prime Ministers Mateusz Morawieczki, Eduard Heger, Viktor Orbán and Andrej Babiš at a Visegrád Four summit in Budapest on November 23, 2021. (MTI/Prime MInister's Press office, Vivien Benko Cher)
Czechia European Union Hungary Poland Slovakia V4

Europe under ‘unprecedented’ migration pressure

Hungary insists that the EU reimburses border protection costs.

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Loretta Tóth

The European Union has never been under such migratory pressure from three directions at once, which is a huge challenge for the whole EU, Hungarian Prime Minister iktor Orbán said at the Budapest summit of the Visegrád Heads of State (V4) on Tuesday.

Orbán, Eduard Heger and Andrej Babiš assured Poland of their solidarity over the migration situation on its eastern border. According to Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, the term “migration crisis” does far too little to describe the situation.

The meeting of V4 leaders was convened at Poland’s request.

“The Union is under pressure from three directions. The influx from the sub-Saharan region is steady. NGO ships are constantly transporting migrants to European shores via the sea, and the route in the Western Balkans is full again,” Orbán said.

He thanked outgoing Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and “our Czech friends” for sending border guards to the Hungarian border, who have arrested more than 4,000 illegal immigrants at the southern borders of Hungary. Orbán said that those leaving Afghanistan will also be coming to the Balkan route, where so far 100,000 illegal migrants have been stopped at the Hungarian border this year.

“Thirty thousand to 35,000 people leave Afghanistan every day and the European Union must expect pressure on the Balkan route to increase,” said the Hungarian prime minister. He said now there is a third direction, “another attack that the Poles are suffering, our Polish friends are under attack because of the migration to the east.”

“Brussels has a flawed policy, funding virtually everything that increases migratory pressures. It supports NGOs, it advertises integration programs. It doesn’t give money for one thing: to physically protect the border,” Orbán said.

The Hungarian position is still that the EU must pay the costs of European border protection. The financial burden of this cannot be borne solely by the countries that have been put “by geography and history at the external borders of the European Union.” The Hungarian prime minister said that Hungary had always recommended a fair agreement to the Union:

“It would be fair if we Hungarians at least halved the costs, half of the costs are borne by us, but the other half should be given by Brussels, given that we are defending not only ourselves but the whole of Europe,” Orbán said.