Foreign Affairs

Orbán To Macron: “This Isn’t How We Do Things Around Here”

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is attending a two-day EU summit in Brussels. Ahead of the meeting of the EU leaders, he spoke to reporters, commenting on various European topics, including the French President’s harsh remarks on Central European member states.

Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán arriving in Brussels to attend the two-day meeting of the EU leaders (photo: Balázs Szecsődi – kormany.hu)

In the interview, published in eight big European newspapers, French President Emmanuel Macron said certain eastern European politicians had “turned their backs on Europe” with “a cynical approach to the union that only served to dispense credit without respecting its values”.

The French President has warned Central and Eastern European countries not to treat Europe “as a supermarket.” “Europe isn’t a supermarket. Europe is a common destiny. It is weakened when it accepts its principles being rejected. The countries in Europe that don’t respect the rules should have to face the political consequences. And that’s not just an East-West debate”, Macron said.

Reacting to the Macron interview, Hungary PM Viktor Orbán said:

Macron’s introduction isn’t too encouraging; he thought the best way to show friendship was to immediately stampede into central European countries. This isn’t how we do things around here, but he’ll soon get to know his way around

The Hungarian Premier also said ahead of the Brussels meeting that the European Union member states disagree on how migrants should be distributed across the continent. Western European member states want to “get rid of the migrants they unjustifiably let in” by distributing them among countries, such as Hungary, that protected themselves and refused to let in any migrants, Orbán said.

Given that there will never be a consensus on the question of redistributing migrants

Member states should rather focus at the summit on matters they can agree on, the Hungarian Prime Minister said. Among such issues, he mentioned adopting a declaration on the protection of shared EU borders and preventing people unwelcomed by Europeans from entering the continent.

Viktor Orbán said he expected member states to reach a consensus on this issue, arguing that most of them agreed with a proposal to set up refugee camps along Libya’s northern and southern borders, where economic migrants should be separated from refugees. These camps should also be the place where migrants are registered and subjected to anti-terror screening, he added.

Once these procedures are taken care of, only those whose identities are confirmed and who are known not to pose a security risk will be allowed to set foot in Europe, he said.

via hungarymatters.hu, MTI and politico.eu