“The majority of comments at Monday’s hearing of the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) were critical of the measures Hungary has introduced, but the Government’s migration policy is nevertheless slowly being adopted and applied throughout Europe”, Minister of Justice László Trócsányi said following the meeting, one of the topics of which was the state of the rule of law in Hungary.

With relation to Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and non-governmental organisations who were critical of Hungary, the Minister said he thought they were living in a fog and think “all is well and good, there is no problem, terrorism doesn’t exist, we don’t have to worry about public safety and public order, and the important thing is that as many people as possible are able to enter Europe”.

At his press conference, the Justice Minister said there would definitely be disputes concerning the upcoming bill on detaining illegal immigrants, “this is natural and we are already used to it”, but “Hungary has a responsibility not only towards its own citizens, but also towards the citizens of Europe”.

Some kind of legal solution is necessary in view of the fact that the number of attempted illegal border crossing attempts has not fallen, and the bill is part of this solution, he explained, adding that “border control must be true border control”.

Mr. Trócsányi explained that there is a certain conflict between the Dublin Agreement and the Schengen Borders Code, and that he places greater emphasis on the latter. “Current EU refugee regulations are rather questionable in view of the fact that they were created when much fewer asylum seekers were arriving on the continent”, he added.

“The mandatory relocation of asylum seekers has failed in practice; 10 thousand people have been relocated so far out of a planned 160 thousand”, the Minister emphasised, also highlighting the fact that in addition to the fact that the Government had presented extremely sound legal arguments, it has also filed a legally extremely thorough case at the European Court of Justice.

In reply to a question from the press, the Hungarian Justice Minister said that in his opinion there was no generation of anti-refugee or anti-migrant sentiment in Hungary. Roughly 450 people were granted asylum status in Hungary last year, and some 500 in 2015, he told the press.

Fidesz Vice-Chair of LIBE Kinga Gál called the Committee hearing yet another element of the “vendetta” against Hungary, which on this occasion was induced by Hungary’s migration policy, “because it is very different from what the majority of Europe would like to see”. “A host of exaggerations and misinterpretations were sounded at the hearing, but the fact that we are right is attested to by all that we have done and are continuing to do to prevent migration”, the MEP said, adding that if it was up to the non-governmental organisations criticizing Hungary then everyone should be let into Europe, and this is something that must not be allowed.