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Hungarian Government To Take EC’s Immigration Proposals To Parliamentary Debate

Tamás Székely 2015.05.12.

Hungary’s Premier Viktor Orbán said he would take the European Commission’s (EC) draft proposals on immigration to debate in Hungarian parliament. The draft, which he has not yet received, contains proposals on measures responding to illegal migration as well as designing an EU strategy on the whole on immigration, PM Orbán told a press conference held on the occasion of Kurdish President’s visit to Hungary.  PM Orbán said the draft should be debated in parliament as well as by the general public, preferably before the European Council’s summit in June.

The Prime Minister said he would present this draft to Parliament and will also suggest that the house and the public discuss which parts they agree with, and which they believe to be contrary to Hungary’s interests. “We are looking forward to an exciting, high-quality discussion”, he said. The German newspaper Welt am Sonntag reported that the draft includes a proposal to distribute a quota for the number of asylum-seekers to be received among EU member states, proportionate to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), population, jobless rate and current number of asylum-seekers.

Meanwhile Hungary’s House Speaker László Kövér said in Lisbon that handling the immigration crisis was requiring direct control over migration routes, efforts against human smuggling, and measures to reduce the pressure for emigration in countries of origin. Speaking at a meeting of his counterparts in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean, László Kövér said that effective management of issues around migration in the Mediterranean was also crucial for Hungary. Hungary is obliged to help the persecuted and grant asylum to refugees, the Hungarian Speaker said, but also noted that in recent years an unprecedented exodus started in countries where “people are dissatisfied with their economic conditions”.

Compared to its population, Hungary receives the second largest number of asylum seekers in the European Union, following Sweden, Kövér said. He added that in the first four months of 2015 alone, over 30,000 asylum applications were submitted to Hungary’s authorities. Kövér called cooperation between countries of origin, transit, and destination crucial, and said that options for a resolution should be negotiated together. “It is important that we apply the Common European Asylum System in a coordinated way, and effectively fight abuse of asylum rights and human smuggling,” Kövér said.

via and photo: Gergely Botár –