The Government Spokesperson takes the view that those who attempt to misconstrue the references made in the closing document are simply not familiar with the European Union’s decision-making mechanism.

Zoltán Kovács stressed in an interview given to the Hungarian News Agency MTI on Saturday: the statements made by the opposition parties show that either they misunderstand, or intentionally misconstrue the events of the EU summit.

Mr Kovács responded to the fact that the opposition parties DK, Együtt and Jobbik had previously criticised Prime Minister Viktor Orbán for having approved the decision adopted at the EU summit held on Thursday and Friday which lays down that the former European decisions concerning the settlement quotas must be implemented.

By the Government Spokesperson’s account, the reference cited by several sources relates to the Council’s decision adopted last summer: according to this, 40,000 refugees from the Middle-East and North-Africa would be relocated from Italy and Greece to other Member States based on voluntary undertakings.

He stressed: this was a voluntary distribution mechanism, Hungary never voted for the mandatory settlement quotas, and similar to Slovakia, Hungary turned to the European Court to contest the mandatory settlement quotas.

Hungary’s position remains unchanged: the settlement quotas are out of the question, the European migration policy pursued to date has failed, and this is why the Visegrád Four proposed a plan that is based on the protection of the borders, the Government Spokesperson remarked.

Mr Kovács highlighted: the latest EU summit was the first to have approved the Hungarian position upheld since last September, based on which the primary and most important task is to protect the European borders, no one may enter Europe illegally and everyone must observe the Schengen regulations. If this position had been embraced earlier, there would be no need for the measures such as the ones that Austria has adopted in the last few days, he added.

The British reform package was the most important topic of the Friday summit. Only those regulations have changed which concern the elements of the existing employment and in-work benefit regime which could be abused. In line with the common Visegrád stance, Hungary has succeeded in achieving that the freedom of movement for workers has remained fundamentally intact, Mr Kovács pointed out.

(Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister/MTI)