Last Thursday, European Union interior ministers reached a majority agreement on sharing responsibility for the care of migrants and refugees. Under this agreement, each EU member state would be responsible for a certain number of people, but would not necessarily have to take them in. Countries that are not willing to take in illegal migrants and refugees arriving in the EU could help with money – around €22,000 per person – equipment, or staff.
Justice Minister Judit Varga called the agreement the “migrant quota”, saying it was like an invitation letter for smugglers and migrants. “The quota, also known as a kind of distribution mechanism, sends a message to the third world and the world outside Europe that you can come here any way you want because in the end you can stay here because we will push you down the throat of one of the countries.”
She added that
the measure absolutely overrides the sovereignty of nations and sees the issue of migration coming to the fore in the European Parliament election campaign.
Meanwhile, it is not only the Hungarian government that is unhappy about the recent decision. Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki also opposed the quota, saying that Poland will not give in to forced resettlement. As he pointed out, his country is against human smugglers dictating EU rules.
The head of think-tank Nézőpont Institute also spoke about the migrant quota on Radio Kossuth over the weekend. Ágoston Sámuel Mráz pointed out that Hungary should take in around 8,500 migrants a year, but the admissions could also be exchanged for money, the above mentioned 20,000 euros per person. This would mean a burden of almost 300 billion forints (EUR 814 million) over four years for Hungary if it wanted to turn back all 8,500 people a year, the analyst said.
According to Sámuel Mráz,
the majority of EU interior ministers have made this decision, which is extremely disadvantageous for Hungary, because the 2024 EU elections are approaching and “left-wing, federal circles” fear that the election will result in a different balance of power in the European Parliament.
György Bakondi, the prime minister’s chief adviser on homeland security, told public television channel M1 that the EU wants to force Hungary to become an immigrant country. The program recalled that a Syrian migrant attacked children with a knife in France on the very day when Brussels adopted the plan for the mandatory migrant quota. The adviser recalled that since 2015, there have been a series of terrorist attacks in Europe, with France being particularly affected.
Moreover, one does not have to go far to see and experience the violence of illegal migrants. Clashes between migrants continue on Hungary’s southern border, with machine-gun fire again last week in Subotica, Serbia, and still many groups of migrants in the forest near the Serbian-Hungarian border.
According to official data, police officers dealt with 715 border crossers between Friday and Sunday. In the past week, 1,714 border crossers were arrested and escorted back to the other side of the border.
Featured photo via Twitter/Sea-Watch International