Parliamentary State Secretary at the Ministry of Justice Pál Völner has responded to a statement on Monday by Nils Muižnieks, the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights. Mr. Muižnieks said that European countries should remove barriers to the reunification of migrant families. In response, Mr. Völner has told Hungarian daily Magyar Hírlap that Hungary also supports the reunification of migrant families – but in their homelands, not in Europe.

The Commissioner had said that international law clearly states that the right to family reunification is a fundamental part of the right to family life, but that a number of European countries are preventing “refugees and their families” from practicing this right through “unjust, unlawful restrictive measures”.

In the Hungarian daily Magyar Hírlap Mr. Völner stated that Nils Muižnieks used to be the head of the Soros Foundation in Latvia. It is therefore not surprising, he said, that Mr. Muižnieks is representing George Soros’s efforts to ensure the arrival in Europe of as many migrants as possible.

“We support the idea of migrants returning to their homelands, and we await the assistance of the EU. We agree with the aim but not with the direction”, Mr. Völner said. He noted that the Commissioner had not clarified the difference between migrants and refugees, “although the two are not the same”, and he added that refugee status is determined by the Geneva Conventions, and “not by George Soros or Nils Muižnieks”.