“Hungary’s standpoint has not changed: with relation to migration we still cannot accept the mandatory distribution mechanism, and a nation state-level decision must be made on the issue, not a European Union-level decision”, Minister heading the Prime Minister’s Office Gergely Gulyás declared on Tuesday in Brussels.

At a press conference for Hungarian journalists, Mr. Gulyás said the proposal for handling the migration crisis put forward by Bulgaria, the current President of the Council of the European Union, disregards the opinion of member states that have clearly and consistently rejected the introduction of a mandatory distribution mechanism with no upper threshold. In addition, more member states are now against the distribution mechanism than previously, he pointed out.

The Minister noted that, amongst others, Germany has also not given up on the enforcement of the mechanism, and this is also having an effect on the country’s domestic politics.

Mr. Gulyás stressed that Hungary has an interest in a stable German government, but the domestic political issue of no single county must be allowed to affect EU decision-making with relation to such an extremely important issue that affects all of Europe.

Handling the migration crisis can primarily be realised via effective maritime and land border protection, he declared. “Hungary’s proposal continues to be that if a country is incapable of protecting its external borders then it can ask for EU assistance, but if it does not make use of this opportunity and continues to not fulfil the obligations it has undertaken with relation to border protection, then that member state’s membership of the Schengen Area must be suspended”, the Minister said. He also highlighted the fact that the Hungarian proposal according to which registration centres for asylum-seekers, so-called hotspots, should be established outside the territory of the EU to decide who is or is not entitled to enter the EU before allowing them entry is more humane than expelling people who are not entitled to international protection.

Mr. Gulyás also declared that in the Hungarian Government’s opinion it is unfavourable, and accordingly it does not view it as acceptable, that the proposal for the post-2020 EU budget favours countries that in recent years have not fulfilled the Maastricht criteria and penalises countries that have practiced successful economic policies.

The Minister explained that in his opinion since the European Union will have less resources available because of Brexit and several member states are not prepared to help make up the difference, all member states should bear the disadvantages that arise from the reduction in distributable resources to an equal extent. “In Hungary’s opinion, the economic success of recent years must not be penalised and cohesion funding must take into account the goals of that funding: to provide further support for the development of certain member states”, he underlined.

With relation to the budget, Mr. Gulyás emphasised that the level of funding earmarked for migration is also unacceptable to Hungary in view of the fact that the draft budget would also provide resources for this purpose from the Cohesion Fund, while continuing to not guarantee the reimbursement of border security expenditure to the affected member states. “Hungary is open to negotiations that end in a compromise that is favourable to us, because if we cannot come to an agreement this year then the chances of agreement will become increasingly worse in view of the European Parliament election campaign, which begins early next year”, he added.

Mr. Gulyás also told reporters that at his meeting with President of the European People’s Party Joseph Daul, the French politician had declared that the People’s Party regards Hungary’s largest governing party (Fidesz) as an important member. In addition, the problems that exist in Europe do not stem from Central and Eastern Europe, because in the most part European public dialogue is currently determined by German internal politics.