Weekly newsletter

Afghanistan Crisis: “Dozens of Viktor Orbáns” to Appear on European Stage?

Zsófia Nagy-Vargha 2021.08.19.

Since the outbreak of the Afghanistan crisis, more and more leading Western European politicians are emphasizing the need to prevent the refugee crisis and a new mass migration, because as they say: “2015 must not be repeated.” Leading analysts also share the same opinion. At the same time, an Afghan businessman stressed in a New York Times interview: the Afghan situation will exacerbate the refugee crisis, which will have a significant impact on Europe, and “dozens of Viktor Orbáns will appear on the European stage.”

The original article was written by our sister site, Ungarn Heute.

On Wednesday, EU interior ministers met for an extraordinary meeting to assess the latest developments in Afghanistan.

The situation in Afghanistan is clearly not secure and will not be for some time to come,”

said EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson, according to a statement released Wednesday. She also stressed the importance of continuing to help other countries – especially those near Afghanistan – take in refugees. According to Johansson, 80 percent of those forced to flee are women and children.

FM Szijjártó: Lack of Stability in Afghanistan Could Trigger Migration
FM Szijjártó: Lack of Stability in Afghanistan Could Trigger Migration

Szijjártó insisted that the risk of migration was also increased by "Brussels's pro-migration policies".Continue reading

At the same time, Johansson called on EU member states to “increase their migration quotas and provide more legal immigration opportunities” for people in need of international protection, especially women and young girls. “This would reflect our comprehensive and balanced approach to migration as set out in the New Pact on Migration and Asylum,” she added.

This drew sharp criticism in Europe. The interior minister of Austria, Karl Nehammer, according to a statement sent to APA on Thursday said:

The statement of the EU Commissioner for Home Affairs on legal pathways sends the completely wrong message. I assumed that the EU Commission had learned from 2015 and would no longer want to make such mistakes.”

Nehammer demands “an immediate clarification and reassurance that the Commission also represents the opinion of the member states.” Because it was “very clearly the tone” in Wednesday’s meeting of EU interior ministers “that 2015 must not be repeated, and therefore we must also be clear in the message we send as a European community of states that we want to provide protection and assistance on the ground in the region, and that this has top priority.”

The wave of refugees in the wake of the Afghanistan crisis could lead to a resurgence of the far right, while European politicians could increasingly ignore the global political considerations arising from the situation in Afghanistan, according to Luxembourg-based political scientist, Florian Bieber, in an opinion piece published in Politico.

According to Bieber, in recent years more and more European leaders have shifted their positions on migration issues to the right. Examples include Austrian Interior Minister, Karl Nehammer, who spoke several times of expelling Afghans from Austria, and German CDU leader, Armin Laschet, who said after the Taliban took power that “2015 must not be repeated.” This is also reflected in Emmanuel Macron’s first speech after taking Kabul, in which he also said that “we must be prepared for the increase in migration routes and defend ourselves.”

According to the political scientist, this indicates that

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s position that Europe must protect itself from illegal migrants is becoming more mainstream in European politics.”

In the featured photo: Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov at a border checkpoint on the Bulgarian-Turkish border near Leszovo, September 14, 2016. Photo by Vasszil Donyev/EPA/MTI